NACDS provided testimony this week at a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Opioid Policy Steering Committee public meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to bring in a broad representation of stakeholders—from both the private and public sectors—to provide feedback on how the agency can strengthen its oversight of opioids.

NACDS began the testimony by highlighting its four public policy solutions to help address the opioid crisis. NACDS further stated that it supports a Risk Evaluation and Mitigating Strategies (REMS) program to establish days-supply prescribing limits that are based on guidelines for prescribing opioids established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The proposed REMs program would mandate e-prescribing for controlled substances (EPCS) to enforce compliance.

NACDS emphasized that the program should be effectively implemented so that any prescription transmitted to the pharmacy would already be verified as compliant with the CDC guidelines at the point of prescribing. This would be essential in alleviating burdens for pharmacies.

NACDS also recommended the development of a national Prescription Database Monitoring Program (PDMP) solution that would include EPCS data and state PDMP data so prescribers would be able to determine not only what medications were prescribed, but which ones were dispensed. NACDS also encouraged the FDA to improve education for prescribers and patients on how to appropriately use opioids, and on the serious repercussions of abusing the medications.

Additional insights about the full breadth of opioid-related policies advocated by NACDS can be found on NACDS’ Access Agenda website.