John M. Gray, President and CEO of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA), issued the following statement on the passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of three pieces of legislation supporting the safe use and handling of controlled substances, the Combat Methamphetamine Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2923), the Safe Drug Disposal Act of 2010 (H.R. 5809), and the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5710).
“Recently passed legislation will combat potential diversion and abuse of controlled substances and listed chemicals by enforcing compliance with existing anti-abuse laws and streamlining standards where we as a nation remain vulnerable to criminal activity.
“Methamphetamine abuse is a continuing problem in this country. The critical legislation recently passed will make it even harder for criminals to access ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, the pharmaceuticals needed to produce methamphetamine. HDMA and its members are committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that these medicines remain accessible to patients while reducing opportunities for criminal misuse.
“The legislation passed also provides federal grants to states to establish and administer controlled substance monitoring systems, and provides consumers, caretakers and others who handle and dispense medications more legitimate ways to dispose of unused medications – all while safeguarding patient confidentiality and important efficiencies in the healthcare supply chain.
“HDMA distributor members, while not prescribing or dispensing controlled substances, work nationwide to ensure product availability while minimizing opportunities for diversion. We commend the House for taking swift action to fortify our nation’s ability to continue to reduce criminal misuse and diversion of controlled substances. We support final congressional action and encourage President Obama to act on these critical pieces of legislation that will protect patients’ continued access to important medications.”