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CEO DATELINE – Pharmacy groups seek meeting with Trump officials about opioid crisis

Feb. 5, 2018
By Walt Williams

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A coalition of pharmaceutical industry associations is seeking a meeting with the Trump administration to discuss ways to combat the current opioid epidemic.

Last year President Donald Trump formed the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to study the issue and make recommendations for tackling the problem. The National Conference of Pharmaceutical Organizations—a coalition of industry groups first formed in 1912—issued a statement Feb. 2 requesting a meeting with administration officials so they could provide input as the commission progresses in its work.

“APhA, along with the other NCPO members, is individually and jointly committed to combatting this public health crisis as we implement best practices across the country, “ American Pharmacists Association CEO Thomas Menighan said. “We believe such collaborative efforts are essential to meeting our country’s needs for high-quality health care while working together to reduce the impact of this crisis on American families.”

The pharmaceutical industry has been blamed by some public health advocates with creating the opioid crisis by flooding the market with prescription painkillers. Industry groups deny the allegation. Healthcare Distribution Alliance CEO John Gray said solving the problem “requires a collaborative and systemic response that engages all stakeholders.”

“Our members, along with our supply chain partners represented by NCPO, are committed to working with policymakers to implement the urgent solutions we need that will protect patients and the public health,” Gray said.

The coalition’s other members are:

  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
  • Association for Accessible Medicines
  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization
  • Consumer Healthcare Products Association
  • National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores
  • National Community Pharmacists Association
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America