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Senate to consider drug supply chain bill


ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A new track-and-trace bill that the Senate is expected to consider would institute a nationwide "track-and-trace" system in place of patchwork state laws with the aim of securing the pharmaceutical supply chain.

S. 959 also seeks to respond to last year's meningitis outbreak by establishing a list of "do not compound" medications.

The National Community Pharmacists Association, a trade group representing independently owned pharmacies, said that while the legislation could enhance security, the compounding provision could also adversely effect patients' access to medications.

"Community pharmacies already struggle with growing regulatory mandates, yet the legislation would also require pharmacies to notify FDA, rather than their state board of pharmacy, when compounding medications already recognized by FDA as being in short supply," NCPA B. Douglas Hoey said.

Hoey also said track-and-trace provisions must achieve a "common-sense" balance between patient safety and minimizing "unreasonable" burdens on stakeholders in the supply chain.


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