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HDA Statement on Enhanced Information Sharing Between DEA and Attorneys General

April 18, 2018

ARLINGTON, Va. — Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) President and CEO John M. Gray welcomed Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement yesterday of a prescription drug information-sharing agreement between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the attorneys general of 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Through this agreement, the DEA will share information from its Automation of Reports and Consolidated Orders System (ARCOS), with states providing the Agency additional information, “often from prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).”

“Attorney General Sessions and the DEA took a promising step forward to provide states with the critical information they need to effectively curb our nation’s prescription drug abuse crisis. This commitment to enhanced data sharing builds upon the progress made through the attorney general’s recent call for a review of the opioid production quotas, as well as the announcement of a new DEA assessment tool for controlled substance orders.

“HDA and the nation’s primary pharmaceutical distributors have long advocated for increased transparency and information sharing to help mitigate this public health emergency. While we believe meaningful actions have been taken, we also reiterate our calls for the DEA to:  
   
  • Develop a ‘Universal Suspicious Orders Database’ that supports enhanced monitoring of controlled substances (including controlled opioid drugs); and share this resource with state regulators and state/local law enforcement officials. 
  • Publish a long-awaited proposed rule on suspicious orders monitoring, which will provide industry and state regulators with clarity they need to help address this issue. 
  • Provide pharmaceutical distributors with aggregated and blinded purchasing data from the ARCOS database (without identifying competitor distributors), which would fill a significant information gap by allowing distributors to consider a customer’s orders in the context of overall distributions of ARCOS-reportable drugs to that entity. 

“While distributors do not manufacture, prescribe or dispense medicines, we reaffirm our commitment to doing our part to protect the safety and security of nation’s prescription supply chain. We look forward to partnering with the DEA as it provides the industry and state regulators, as well as state and local law enforcement, the information and tools they need to end this crisis.”

For more information on industry efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, click here.

ABOUT THE HEALTHCARE DISTRIBUTION ALLIANCE

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.

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