Sunday, October 3, 2010

Combating Prescription Abuse

The House approved (H.R. 5710) introduced by Representative Ed Whitfield from Kentucky to reauthorize a program critical to combating the abuse of prescription drugs across the nation. The “National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) Reauthorization Act of 2010” amends the NASPER Act of 2005 to establish state administered controlled substance monitoring systems.

This needs to be done to ensure that there is appropriate law enforcement, regulations, and to make certain that state professional licensing authorities have access to prescription histories to control the dispensing practices of errant prescribers or pharmacists.

The legislation allows:

• Grants to be used to maintain and operate existing state controlled substance monitoring programs
• Requires the Secretary of HHS to redistribute any funds that are returned among the remaining grantees
• Requires states that are not in compliance to submit a plan to bring the state into compliance
• Requires a progress report to be submitted to Congress

The Senate has a similar bill (S.3575) sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin from Illinois and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.