May 22, 2018
ARLINGTON, Va. — In advance of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing to consider, among others, two Senate bills calling for greater coordination and data sharing among distributors, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), state regulatory agencies and local law enforcement, Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) President and CEO John M. Gray issued the following statement.
“At a time when the country and policymakers are focused on how to advance meaningful solutions to the opioid crisis, we applaud the introduction and consideration of two Senate bills that will enhance data sharing and coordination among distributors, state and federal regulators and law enforcement.
“We strongly support both legislative packages — S. 2838, sponsored by Sens. Feinstein (D-Calif.), Grassley (R-Iowa), Capito (R-W.Va.) and Durbin (D-Ill.), and S. 2837, sponsored by Sen. Hassan (D-N.H.) — which will expand access to and improve data sharing between distributors and the DEA, as well as state regulatory agencies and local law enforcement. These bills will take important steps to help identify and respond to instances of abuse or diversion.
“Specifically, S. 2838 will broaden access to critical data as part of the DEA’s ARCOS (Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System) database, something that HDA has advocated for many years. We believe that this data could allow wholesale distributors to consider a customer’s orders in the context of overall shipments of ARCOS-reportable drugs to that entity.
“Further, S. 2837 will take additional steps to establish a centralized suspicious orders database, providing a more streamlined and uniform reporting mechanism for submitting suspicious order reports to the DEA. The bill also will require the DEA to further define what would constitute a suspicious order, guidance that the industry has sought consistently from the agency for several years.
“Both of these legislative proposals build on the recent announcement from Attorney General Jeff Sessions as well as the forward-looking policy solutions that HDA and its distributors members have urged policymakers to prioritize as part of a more comprehensive, real-time response to the opioid crisis. We look forward to continuing our work with the Senate and other members of Congress to ensure that these policy changes effectively improve coordination and enforcement with the DEA and distributors.”
The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and more than 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s non-profit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.