Consensus Document on Prescribing and Dispensing Controlled Substances Issued
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®), along with a coalition of health care industry stakeholders, has issued a consensus statement regarding the collaborative steps that will be taken to help ensure the delivery of responsible and effective patient care as it relates to the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances (CS). The agreement indicates the need to work collaboratively to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic and to help practitioners comply with their legal responsibilities for prescribing, dispensing, and distributing CS. With the intention of restoring and improving coordination among stakeholders, the 13 participating organizations, which represent physicians, pharmacists, pharmacies, regulatory boards, wholesalers, manufacturers, and government agencies, will develop two subsequent consensus documents. The first document will identify the “red flags” that warrant the need to review the legitimacy of CS prescriptions. The second document will outline the actions stakeholder organizations will take to improve dialogue so that such “red flags” are addressed, in compliance with federal and state law, and so that practitioners are supported in delivering the most appropriate patient care.
While some policies recently implemented by stakeholders were intended to protect patients and prevent prescription drug abuse, participants agreed that coordination and collaboration must be improved to ensure that this public health problem is addressed and that patients receive responsible and effective patient care. Additionally, participants recognized that such policies were implemented to help practitioners comply with regulations and were not intended to “intrude into the scopes of practice or authority of other stakeholders.” The forthcoming consensus documents are intended to restore and improve collaboration among all health care practitioners, and to eliminate confusion caused by “the diversity of current proprietary policies.”
“The dialogue and consensus among organizations representing the spectrum of the health care team will be instrumental in ensuring that patients with legitimate medical needs receive the most appropriate and safest medication therapy,” states NABP President Karen M. Ryle, MS, RPh. “By coordinating on actions that help reduce rates of prescription drug abuse, the forthcoming stakeholder discussions and ongoing collaboration will benefit patient care and the public health.”
The consensus document was the result of stakeholder meetings convened by NABP in October 2013 and December 2013. The document was finalized at the December meeting and was developed by NABP and the following organizations:
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Medical Association
- American Osteopathic Association
- Cardinal Health
- CVS Caremark
- Federation of State Medical Boards (observer)
- National Association of Chain Drug Stores
- National Community Pharmacists Association
- Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
- Rite Aid
- Walgreen Co.
All participating organizations acknowledge support for the consensus document, which is available in the Members section of the NABP website.