High-Powered Alliance to Tackle Prescription-Drug Abuse

The new group brings industry organizations together for the first time to address the epidemic.

A picture taken on September 13, 2012 in Paris shows pills and medicines. AFP/MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/GettyImages)
National Journal
Sophie Novack
Add to Briefcase
Sophie Novack
Feb. 28, 2014, 10:07 a.m.

Some of the biggest play­ers in the phar­ma­ceut­ic­al sup­ply chain have teamed up to find solu­tions to the grow­ing prob­lem of pre­scrip­tion-drug ab­use.

The Al­li­ance to Pre­vent the Ab­use of Medi­cines is com­posed of the Amer­ic­an Med­ic­al As­so­ci­ation, CVS Care­mark, Teva Phar­ma­ceut­ic­als, Car­din­al Health, the Health­care Dis­tri­bu­tion Man­age­ment As­so­ci­ation, and Prime Thera­peut­ics.

The group touts mem­ber­ship in­volve­ment across the sup­ply chain — from man­u­fac­turer to dis­trib­ut­or to phar­macy to phys­i­cian — as key to the suc­cess of its mis­sion.

“In or­der to truly move the needle on an is­sue as com­plex and massive as pre­scrip­tion-drug ab­use, there has to be co­oper­a­tion and in­put along the en­tire phar­ma­ceut­ic­al sup­ply chain,” Al­li­ance spokes­per­son Dani­elle Ha­gen wrote in an email. “The al­li­ance has come to­geth­er to provide just that. Each mem­ber or­gan­iz­a­tion re­cog­nizes the need for a com­pre­hens­ive pub­lic health ap­proach to pre­scrip­tion drug ab­use, and each comes to the table with valu­able ex­pert­ise.”

Pre­scrip­tion-drug ab­use has been clas­si­fied as an epi­dem­ic by the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. Ac­cord­ing to data from the Na­tion­al Sur­vey on Drug Use and Health, ini­ti­ation rates for non­med­ic­al pain re­liev­er use are second only to marijuana, with 2 mil­lion or more new users every year since 2002 — 500,000 of whom have nev­er used an­oth­er il­li­cit drug.

Pre­scrip­tion-drug ab­use is dif­fi­cult to tackle be­cause it in­volves many dif­fer­ent play­ers and mov­ing parts along the drug sup­ply chain. Thus far, piece­meal le­gis­la­tion that ad­dresses parts of the prob­lem has largely been in­ef­fect­ive.

The Al­li­ance hopes to take a broad­er look at the pre­scrip­tion-drug mar­ket and work with le­gis­lat­ors on Cap­it­ol Hill to find more com­pre­hens­ive solu­tions.

The group plans to main­tain a na­tion­al policy per­spect­ive, while also work­ing with state law­makers. The first fo­cus is on im­prov­ing the Pre­scrip­tion Drug Mon­it­or­ing Pro­gram, which var­ies a great deal from state to state. The Al­li­ance sent a let­ter to the Na­tion­al Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation that was shared at the winter meet­ing last week, call­ing for a more ro­bust and in­ter­op­er­able sys­tem of PDMPs. The group re­ceived a pos­it­ive re­sponse from those gov­ernors present, ac­cord­ing to a spokes­per­son.

The Al­li­ance is still work­ing through solu­tions on what will likely be a long-term ef­fort, and de­clined to give fur­ther de­tails on oth­er pos­sible pro­pos­als.

What We're Following See More »
MEETING WITH SENATE GOP
Trump to Hill Next Tuesday
40 minutes ago
THE DETAILS
INTERPARTY FEUDING CONTINUES UNDER PEREZ
Longtime Progressive Members Pushed Out at DNC
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."

Source:
LAST-DITCH FOR A FEW, SPECIFIC CASES
FDA Approves Personalized Cancer Therapy
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
WILL RESIGN BY JAN. 31
Rep. Tiberi Confirms Resignation Report
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In a statement, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH 12) confirmed a New York Times report that he would resign to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. "While I have not yet determined a final resignation date, I will be leaving Congress by January 31, 2018."

Source:
AID DROPPED TO 222,000
Unemployment Claims Fall to Lowest in 44 Years
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level" since March 1973. According to the Labor Department Thursday, "claims for jobless aid dropped by 22,000 to 222,000." Additionally, "the less volatile four-week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250, lowest since late August."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login