Can pharmacists be solution to opioid crisis

Progress continues to be made on provider status legislation, the “Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act.”

The Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, which the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) is a member of, has been working on refining the language of the bill in the hopes of lowering a potential Congressional Budget Office score by narrowing the scope of the bill to focus n health tests and screenings, as well as the management of chronic conditions with a 50% or higher prevalence rate in the Medicare population.

In an attempt to address the opioid epidemic, language has also been added to clarify that pharmacists could provide interventions to prevent prescription drug abuse by providing reimbursable services for beneficiaries enrolled in an opioid overutilization plan.

The coalition is seeking to have H. R. 592 included in a hearing scheduled for the week of April 9 in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health addressing the opioid epidemic.

West Virginia Pharmacists Association Executive Director Richard Stevens has written West Virginia Congressional Delegation requesting their support of H. R. 592.