September 7, 2017
While the factors driving the opioid epidemic are complex, there is broad recognition among leading public health authorities that opioids have been overprescribed — a trend that began in the 1990s and continues to this day. As the broader healthcare industry looks to reverse and prevent another epidemic in the future, there is greater focus on how to effectively curb overprescribing while balancing the legitimate and diverse health needs of patients across the country.
Wholesale distributors recognize the importance of the patient-provider relationship. Yet, as logistics providers, distributors cannot and should not interfere with clinical decision-making. Our responsibility is to ensure the safe and efficient distribution of medicines to licensed pharmacists and healthcare providers. That’s why our industry strongly supports mandatory prescriber education and greater awareness regarding the safe use of prescription medicines and pain treatments — both of which reflect the efforts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), leading medical organizations and professional societies that are working to reduce the prevalence of overprescribing across the country.
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.