A package of bills that passed the House of Representatives in mid-May serve to primarily set up a new federal task force to update best practices for pain management and establish a program at the Department of Justice to fund substance abuse programs in the states.
House lawmakers are set to package the bills together in their version of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that passed the Senate this past March. A final version is expected to be sent to the President by this summer.
Of importance to community pharmacy, both the Senate and House versions contain provisions that would allow for the partial filling of Schedule II controlled substances at either the request of the prescriber or patient. Efforts by independent pharmacies were successful in deleting a burdensome requirement that called pharmacies to notify a patient’s physician each time a Schedule II drug was filled.