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Pharmacists: Senate Bill Enhances Drug Supply Chain Security, but also Threatens Patient Access to Essential Medications
Date:7/25/2013

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA issued the following statement today regarding S. 959, legislation that is expected to be considered soon in the full U.S. Senate:

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"This legislation is comprised of two major components impacting independent community pharmacies and their patients.

"First, S. 959 seeks to enhance the security of the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain by adopting national standards and policies, sometimes referred to as 'track-and-trace,' in place of a patchwork of conflicting state laws. NCPA appreciates the sensitivity of Senate and House lawmakers to try and avoid potentially burdensome legislative requirements that may uniquely impact small business community pharmacies, compared to national corporations with large compliance departments. NCPA has worked tirelessly to balance supply chain safety without adding onerous requirements on small business pharmacies. Federal track-and-trace legislation must achieve a common-sense balance between the need for enhanced patient safety and minimizing unreasonable burdens on supply chain stakeholders.

"Second, S. 959 attempts to respond to the tragic 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by the irresponsible actions of the New England Compounding Center and facilitated by a failure of  the Massachusetts State Board of Pharmacy and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to appropriately coordinate, communicate and take action. When manufactured drugs aren't an option, independent community pharmacists prepare customized medications for patients in accordance with a prescriber's prescription based on the patient's individual needs. Some of the legislation'
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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