With the Senate attempting to complete work and pass the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) before the Memorial Day weekend, the National Community Pharmacists Association weighed in earlier this week with a letter to Senate Health Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Mike Enzi (R-WY).
NCPA’s letter provides lawmakers with the community pharmacist perspective on several issues addressed in the bill, including:
- Supply chain integrity / track-and-trace – NCPA’s view is that the nation’s pharmaceutical supply is safe and NCPA supports measures to further enhance its safety. For example, NCPA backs the RxTEC framework developed by pharmaceutical stakeholders. It would create a lot-level tracking program for all prescription drugs. (To read more on RxTEC, see NCPA’s March 8th testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.)
- Drug shortages – While most drug shortages may have occurred in hospitals, some have been experienced in community pharmacies, particularly for medications to treat ADD and ADHD. NCPA supports provisions in the Senate bill to study whether drug shortages were caused or exacerbated by government actions, such as Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) limits on the production by manufacturers of certain medications. The Hill newspaper reports that Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently expressed concerns on this front as well; and
- NCPA supports the bill’s call for developing voluntary “best practices” for providing prescription information for visually-impaired and blind consumers.
PDUFA is considered must-pass legislation. On behalf of its membership, NCPA will continue working constructively with Congress on the bill.