The White House’s 2019 National Drug Control Strategy, which establishes the President’s priorities for addressing the challenge of drug trafficking and use, is gaining industry praise. NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson Monday highlighted the new strategy as an opportunity to build on efforts to prevent drug abuse, as well as the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which was signed in October.
“The new law is consistent with all four areas of NACDS’ public policy recommendations, which relate to initial-fill limits for acute pain, to prescription drug monitoring plans, or PDMP, to drug disposal, and — in a very significant way — to mandatory electronic prescribing," Anderson said. "NACDS recognizes and appreciates that the 2019 National Drug Control Strategy signals continued momentum by including initial fill limits, PDMPs and drug disposal. We look forward to working with the administration and with all levels and all branches of government to continue to advance NACDS’ policy recommendations, which have been developed based on pharmacists’ experiences on the front lines of healthcare.”
NACDS said it commissioned a January survey conducted by Morning Consult, which found that 6-in-10 voters support seven-day initial-fill limits on certain opioid prescriptions; mandatory electronic prescribing; and enhanced access for Medicare patients to pharmacist-provided services that help prevent, detect and treat potential opioid abuse.
Opposition to these policies is extremely low, NACDS said, noting that 2-in-10 voters express uncertainty or lack of opinion on the issues. Overall, 7-in-10 voters support “advancing policies that leverage pharmacies’ role as working partners for stronger and safer communities – such as working to address the opioid-abuse epidemic.”
NACDS said that its Chain Pharmacy Community Engagement Report suggests that opioid abuse prevention stands as one of the top priorities for NACDS members among their community engagement initiatives. Among the opioid abuse prevention efforts being undertaken by NACDS and member pharmacies are compliance programs; advancing e-prescribing; drug disposal; patient education; security initiatives; fostering naloxone access; and stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics.