Alexandria, Va. - April 24, 2012
As a U.S. Senate committee prepares legislation reauthorizing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today submitted recommendations to address the views of local pharmacists.
In a letter to the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), NCPA responded to a "manager's amendment" announced Monday that would revise the legislation. NCPA's comments focused principally on prescription drug shortages and supply chain integrity.
"We believe the current pharmaceutical supply chain in the United States is safe and secure," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "As we strive to further strengthen security, there are a number of different approaches or tactics that could be employed.
"In addition, while most reported drug shortages to date have occurred in hospital settings, community pharmacies are also experiencing shortages, primarily in drugs that treat ADHD," Hoey added. "The effects of these shortages could be mitigated by reforming the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) quota system and by ensuring that pharmacy reimbursement rates are updated more frequently to reflect price spikes and keep pharmacies whole. In these and other areas, we look forward to continuing to work constructively with Congress as a PDUFA reauthorization is enacted into law this year."
NCPA's letter includes the following points:
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists. Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com.
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