NCPA Endorses Senate Bill to Reduce Drug Diversion, Abuse



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Alexandria, Va. - March 7, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) today endorsed the Safe Doses Act (S. 1002), legislation increasing penalties for theft and diversion of prescription medications. S. 1002 is expected to be voted on (or "marked up") by the Senate Judiciary Committee March 8th.

"NCPA is committed to working with members of Congress and state and local law enforcement officials to combat the inappropriate use and diversion of prescription drugs," NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA said in a letter to the committee's chairman and ranking member. "We believe S. 1002 would help curb illegitimate pharmaceutical and medical product diversion from the legitimate supply chain."

The legislation would increase penalties for theft involving medical products and give law enforcement additional options to combat such crimes. While calling the bill a "solid foundation," NCPA's letter also offered recommendations for further reducing drug abuse and diversion, including:

  • Tax incentives for pharmacies adopting safety and crime prevention efforts;
  • Passing legislation to shut down so-called "pill mills"; and
  • Requiring mandatory minimum sentences for robberies and burglaries involving controlled substances.

NCPA commends Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), and Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) for their work on this important legislation.

NCPA encourages community pharmacists to commit themselves to supporting national and local efforts to prevent the misuse and abuse of both prescription and non-prescription medications. The association provides resources to pharmacists to do so via its Protect Your Pharmacy Now! anti-crime initiative and Dispose My Meds programs to encourage proper disposal of unwanted non-controlled prescriptions. The association has also created a Prevent Prescription Abuse homepage, www.ncpanet.org/preventrxabuse, providing resources, tools and educational materials for pharmacists and patients as part of its partnership in programs such as Safeguard My Meds, Rx Safety Matters and Generation Rx.

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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