Personally and in public policy, people trust pharmacies for answers in times of need.
Explore pharmacy’s engagement on issues ranging from healthcare quality, affordability and access … to solving the opioid abuse epidemic.
91% of Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy
In 2016, pharmacists ranked second again in Gallup’s Honesty and Ethics survey
In a national survey, 79% said pharmacists provide credible advice to reduce health costs
To sit for a pharmacy license exam, candidates must earn a minimum six-year Doctor of Pharmacy degree
NACDS training is boosting access to newer pharmacist-provided services, like testing for and treating flu and strep
Preserving patients’ access to care
Expanding access to newer services
Working as partners for stronger and safer communities
Opioid Abuse Epidemic: NACDS’ New Public Policy Recommendations
Legislate a 7-day supply limit for initial opioid prescriptions issued for acute pain
- This limit is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
- CDC clinical evidence: greater amount of initial opioid exposure is associated with greater risk for long-term use and addiction
- Nearly 20 states already have taken action; federal legislation is needed for consistent patient care
Legislate a requirement that all prescriptions be issued electronically, with limited exceptions
- E-prescribing enhances security and curbs fraud, waste and abuse; and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) e-prescribing requirements call for two-factor authentication, reducing the likelihood of fraudulent prescribing
- Federal and state action would be timely, as e-prescribing of controlled substances has only been legal in all 50 states since September 2015
- Only 14 percent of controlled substance prescriptions are issued electronically
Create a national prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) through collaboration
- Most states use data to help identify and prevent drug abuse and diversion, but program variances limit their effectiveness
- It is necessary to harmonize state requirements for reporting and accessing PDMP data, and to create one system with unified expectations by healthcare providers and law enforcement
- A national PDMP would leverage e-prescribing to provide guidance for prescribers and dispensers in real-time when providing patient care
Provide manufacturer-funded mail-back envelopes for unused opioid drugs, available to patients at pharmacies upon request
- Currently, many pharmacies offer disposal programs as appropriate by community and by store
- A program featuring mail-back envelopes provides an option that is universally workable
- State legislation could facilitate a mail-back program
- Educational materials also are in use, and could be expanded in appropriate ways
Every day, pharmacists face a moment of truth. When presented with an opioid prescription, a pharmacist must make decisions as a provider of patient care, and as part of the drug-abuse solution. Based on these experiences, NACDS has announced four new recommendations on this complex issue, to complement pharmacy’s ongoing collaboration with other healthcare professionals and with law enforcement.
These new public policy concepts complement pharmacy’s existing and extensive collaborative efforts, including: compliance programs; pioneering e-prescribing; drug disposal; patient education; security initiatives; fostering naloxone access; stopping illegal online drug-sellers and rogue clinics; and more.
Study Highlights Opportunities for Pharmacies to Help Curb U.S. Opioid Epidemic, Bolster Other Public Health Efforts
NACDS Members Engage with Legislators on Healthcare Solutions
NACDS emphasizes the importance of each individual pharmacy advocate’s outreach to legislators
Percentage of states and Congressional Districts in which NACDS member companies operate pharmacies
Percentage of Congressional offices reached via in-person meetings during most recent Capitol Hill event
Number of Congressional pharmacy tours and other events “back home” hosted by NACDS members during the 114th Congress – a commitment which continues into the new Congress
Learn more about the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, of which NACDS is a founding member and a member of the Steering Committee. The Coalition strongly backs the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act (H.R. 592/S. 109), which can help improve vital access to pharmacist-provided patient care for seniors in your community.
Learn more about The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), of which NACDS is a Board-level member. ASOP is dedicated to combatting illegal online pharmacies and counterfeit medicines to make the Internet safer for consumers worldwide.