Industry ready to assist on Trump’s opioid plan

President Donald Trump shared plans to combat the opioid crisis on Monday in Manchester, N.H., which has been especially hard-hit by the epidemic.

According to the White House, the Administration’s opioid response plan includes efforts to reduce factors fueling the crisis that include illicit supplies, education, combating over-prescribing of opioids and recovery support services. It includes a Safer Prescribing Plan that aims to reduce opioid prescription fills by one-third in the next three years while pushing for reimbursements to be issued with best practices. It also aims to arm first responders with naloxone, expand access to evidence-based addiction treatments nationwide.

“Defeating this epidemic will require the commitment of every state, local, and federal agency. Failure is not an option,” Trump said. “Addiction is not our future. We will liberate our country from this crisis. Never been like this. Hundreds of years — never been like this. And we will raise a drug-free generation of American children.”

Following the president’s speech, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president Steve Anderson commended Trump while reaffirming that pharmacy is poised to play a central role in opioid response efforts.

“NACDS commends President Trump’s leadership, and that of bipartisan members of Congress, in working toward more comprehensive policies to address the opioid abuse epidemic,” Anderson said. “Key elements of President Trump’s plan, and legislative proposals under consideration in Congress, are consistent with NACDS’ policy recommendations. These recommendations are based on pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare delivery.”

Anderson said that NACDS is urging lawmakers to pass policy related to electronic prescribing, limiting initial opioid prescription for acute pain, the creation of a national prescription drug monitoring program and more robust drug disposal efforts.

“Our policy recommendations in these areas build on pharmacy’s long-standing work in the areas of compliance programs; helping to pioneer and advance electronic prescribing; fostering safe prescription drug disposal; patient education; security initiatives; promoting naloxone access; stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics; and more,” Anderson said. “NACDS has valued the opportunity to engage on this issue consistently with the Trump Administration and with bipartisan Congressional leaders. … We look forward to continuing to advocate for policies that will prove effective in improving the health and safety of individuals, of families, and of the communities served by NACDS members.”