Make Supply Chain Efficiency and Patient Safety a Reality | Letter to the Editor

Posted July 11, 2013 at 4:00am

In Jim Greenwood’s July 1 commentary, “Nationwide Track and Trace System Urgently Needed,” he emphasized the importance of establishing a federal pharmaceutical traceability system to protect patients and create greater efficiencies in health care. The Healthcare Distribution Management Association and the nation’s 32 primary pharmaceutical distributors could not agree more.

For nearly a decade, the HDMA has called for the creation of a comprehensive and practical national traceability framework to eliminate the current patchwork of state laws. Now, with supply chain stakeholder consensus coupled with congressional leadership — bolstered by the recommendations of an Institute of Medicine expert panel — we may finally be on the cusp of establishing additional protections for consumers from diverted and counterfeit drugs.

With two traceability proposals moving through Congress (HR 1919 and S 959), we have an opportunity to provide greater regulatory clarity for our industry and, most importantly, a greater sense of security for patients across the country. We urge Congress to bring this bipartisan, bicameral legislation across the finish line, and send a finished product to President Barack Obama this summer. The time is now to make enhanced supply chain efficiency and patient safety a reality for millions nationwide.