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HDMA Applauds Congressmen Buyer (R-IN) and Matheson (D-UT) For Introducing Uniform Federal Pedigree Requirements to Further Enhance Patient Safety, Supply Chain Security

Nation's Primary Healthcare Distributors Committed to Ongoing Work With Supply Chain Partners, Government and Law Enforcement on Track-and-Trace Initiatives to Combat Counterfeiting

ARLINGTON, Va., April 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), the national association representing primary healthcare distributors, applauds U.S. Representatives Steve Buyer (R-IN) and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) for introducing the Safeguarding America's Pharmaceuticals Act of 2008 (HR 5839), comprehensive bipartisan legislation that would establish uniform, federal requirements for the tracking and tracing of prescription medicines from the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the pharmacy. Part of an overall strategy to help combat criminal counterfeiting, the legislation will strengthen current federal laws and regulations and further secure the nation's prescription medicine supply.

"We thank Congressmen Buyer and Matheson for their commitment and leadership on this complex issue, and we will continue to work with them on this critically important legislation. We believe this bill provides a strong, nationwide framework to further enhance patient safety, and creates the uniformity needed to systematically deploy compatible track-and-trace technologies across the national supply chain," said HDMA President and CEO John M. Gray. "HDMA and our primary healthcare distributor members have zero tolerance for criminal counterfeiting, diversion, adulteration and misbranding of prescription medicines. For many years, HDMA has advocated for uniform federal pedigree requirements that enhance the safety of the nation's prescription medicine supply."

If enacted, HR 5839 would establish rigorous new pedigree requirements that will apply uniformly across all 50 states. States would continue their important role in licensing and enforcement. The bill would require pedigrees on all prescription medicines sold in the United States. Longer term, the legislation will require manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies put in place systems and technologies that will electronically track and trace individual prescription medicines.

"HDMA shares the belief with Congressmen Buyer and Matheson that electronically tracking and tracing prescription medicines from the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the pharmacy, holds the most promise for true safety advances in healthcare," continued Gray. "Implementing end-to-end track-and-trace technology solutions that achieve the next level of safety advances is an ambitious undertaking. While progress is being made, now is the time for supply chain partners to work through challenges and explore track-and-trace technologies in a meaningful and coordinated way. HDMA and our primary healthcare distributor members will continue to lead efforts to put in place these and other innovative new technologies, in coordination with pharmacies and manufacturers who equally share this responsibility under the legislation."

HDMA has a strong, long-standing record of working in the states and with Congress, the FDA, law enforcement and supply chain partners to identify business, policy and technology improvements that can be made to enhance patient safety. As part of a multi-layered counterfeit prevention plan, HDMA and its member companies have initiated pilot programs, industry working groups, groundbreaking new research on Data Management and Data Sharing, industry guidelines and case studies in support of track-and-trace technologies and other safety and security measures. HDMA also has called for stronger licensure and uniform pedigree requirements, tougher regulation and harsher criminal penalties for the crime of counterfeiting medicine.

Additional co-sponsors of the Safeguarding America's Pharmaceuticals Act of 2008 include Congressmen Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Gene Green (D-TX).

About HDMA

The Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA) is the national association representing primary, full-service healthcare distributors. Each day, the member companies of HDMA are responsible for ensuring that more than 13 million prescription medicines and healthcare products are safely delivered to 144,000 pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, physician offices, clinics, government and other providers in all 50 states. This essential public health function is provided with tremendous efficiency, saving the nation's healthcare system nearly $34 billion each year. HDMA and its members are the vital link in the healthcare system, working daily to provide value, remove costs and develop innovative solutions to deliver care safely and effectively.

SOURCE Healthcare Distribution Management Association
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