NACDS urges Senate to pass prescription drug abuse, access bill

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) on Monday urged passage of The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 (S. 483). NACDS said the bill would spur collaboration among health and enforcement authorities for drug abuse solutions that maintain patients' legitimate access to medications. The U.S.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) on Monday urged passage of The Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 (S. 483). NACDS said the bill would spur collaboration among health and enforcement authorities for drug abuse solutions that maintain patients' legitimate access to medications. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill on February 11, and it soon could receive consideration by the full Senate. The House of Representatives passed its largely similar version of the measure (H.R. 471) in April 2015. To reach the President's desk, the House and Senate ultimately will need to pass identical language either as a stand-alone bill or as part of larger piece of legislation. NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson sent a letter addressed to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), saying: "NACDS and the chain pharmacy industry are committed to partnering with policymakers to develop viable strategies to prevent opioid abuse, as well as all prescription drug diversion and abuse. To this end, we support policies that empower law enforcement to protect Americans against the dangers of prescription drug diversion and abuse while maintaining legitimate patient access to needed medications."