March 17, 2016
ARLINGTON, Va. — HDMA-championed legislation, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act (S. 483) was passed today under unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate. The legislation, sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), has companion legislation (H.R. 471) in the House of Representatives sponsored by Reps. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.). H.R. 471 was passed by the House of Representatives in April 2015.
HDMA President and CEO John M. Gray commented on today’s passage, noting, “We applaud the Senate for recognizing the importance of increasing transparency and collaborative efforts in the fight against prescription drug abuse. The passage of S. 483, coupled with Senate’s approval of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524), substantially enhances the range of tools now available to regulators, supply chain stakeholders and the broader healthcare community to effectively address the prescription drug abuse epidemic.
“Further, HDMA commends Senators Hatch and Whitehouse, the Judiciary Committee leadership and Senate staff for shepherding this important effort through the Senate at a time when action is needed to help fight the nation’s prescription drug abuse problem. Through their early and steady leadership, and broad supply chain stakeholder support, it has been particularly rewarding to see ideas initially conceived by HDMA and our members evolve into bipartisan, bicameral legislation that we hope will help foster a productive, collaborative effort with meaningful results.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the House of Representatives as S. 483 will now be referred back to the House, with hopes for a swift concurring vote before going to President Obama for his signature.”
HDA is the national association representing primary healthcare distributors, the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare providers. Each business day, HDA member companies ensure that over 15 million prescription medicines and healthcare products are delivered safely and efficiently to more than 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. HDA and its members work daily to provide value and achieve cost savings, an estimated $42 billion each year to our nation’s healthcare system.