WASHINGTON — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the Healthcare Distribution Alliance on Monday submitted a joint op-ed that was published by The Hill regarding the inherent risks of importing drugs from foreign markets.
Allowing the importation of pharmaceuticals from foreign markets is not a health cost panacea, argued John Gray, president and CEO HDA, and Steven Anderson president and CEO NACDS, and in fact would undo current legislation designed to maintain the integrety of the closed pharmaceutical supply chain in the U.S.
“The U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain is a sophisticated, efficient and highly secure system, and in 2013, Congress made a firm commitment to further strengthening it by passing [Drug Supply Chain Security Act],” the association leaders wrote. “This federal law — which was enacted to establish a uniform national framework for tracing prescription medicines — was supported by the entire supply chain,” the said. “Pharmaceutical distributors and pharmacies are working daily on implementation, together with their supply chain partners, running pilot programs and establishing comprehensive systems for traceability, data exchange and retention to make our pharmaceutical supply chain more secure.”
The op-ed noted that importation threatens the progress the industry and the government have made in collaborating to secure the safety of the domestic pharmaceutical supply chain and would undo all the hard work that has been accomplished since the enactment of DSCSA four years ago.
NACDS and HDA also urged the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and other members of Congress to protect patients and the safety of the supply chain, stating: “We, and ultimately the patients we serve, simply cannot afford to risk the entrance of substandard, unsafe medicines into one of the safest and strongest supply chains in the world.”