News Releases - 2017

NCPA Responds to White House Commission on Opioids' Final Report

by NCPA | Nov 02, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 2, 2017) - National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA, has issued the following statement in response to the final report of the President's Commission on Combatting the Opioid Crisis:

"I'm heartened that the just-released report of the President's Opioid Commission includes many of the ideas NCPA proposed in recommendations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in August and to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions in September.

"Independent community pharmacists share the American public's concern about the opioid crisis. We are on the frontlines of this battle and are committed to doing everything we can to help.

"The Commission's final report endorses several NCPA-supported concepts, including:

  • Prescriber education for controlled substances

  • Expanded access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone

  • Greater availability to medication-assisted therapy

  • Enhancing the scope and functionality of prescription drug monitoring programs

  • More scrutiny and restrictions on certain controlled substances delivered through the mail.

"In addition, the Commission proposed that the relevant federal agencies and pharmacy associations work collaboratively to train pharmacists on best practices for evaluating the legitimacy of opioid prescriptions, as opposed to penalizing pharmacists for denying inappropriate prescriptions.

"It's important to assure that remedies implemented through legislation or regulation allow patients with legitimate pain management needs to access appropriate medication. That means that compliance requirements should not overreach so that needful patients are made to suffer.

"Lastly, we agree with the Commission's most important recommendation: The opioid crisis requires a multi-stakeholder, across-the-board approach. We all have a role to play in ending this heart-breaking epidemic. Independent community pharmacists are glad to be part of the solution."

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The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $80 billion health care marketplace and employ more than 250,000 individuals on a full- or part-time basis. To learn more, go to www.ncpanet.org, visit facebook.com/commpharmacy, or follow NCPA on Twitter @Commpharmacy.