No easy fixes
It is disappointing that instead of recognizing that the U.S. is finally moving toward a single, uniform and national pharmaceutical distribution supply chain law, Modern Healthcare instead opted to give credence to the myth that this long-vexing challenge could be solved with an easy fix (“Unnecessary compromise,” June 10, p. 18).
The Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance is a coalition of stakeholders spanning the supply chain, comprising the very stakeholders that will be tasked with ensuring any policy can be implemented. PDSA has supported a step-wise solution to enhance the system and protect patients from counterfeit products and other threats mentioned in the editorial while also laying a foundation that can be expanded over time as additional technologies are developed.
As the editorial acknowledged, the absence of a federal solution results in a patchwork quilt of regulations that could make the situation worse for everyone. The pharmaceutical supply chain is a national system that requires a national solution, not a hodgepodge of laws and regulations that could hinder patient access to medicines and provide weak links bad actors can exploit.
A significant bipartisan and bicameral group of congressional leaders—including the chairman and ranking member of the Senate HELP Committee, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the previous longtime Democratic chairman of the committee, and multiple Republican and Democratic lawmakers in both chambers—recognize the need for a national solution and have been working tirelessly for months toward this end. Last month, the House passed its proposed bill by an overwhelming voice vote, and the Senate HELP Committee has approved its bill without any objections. This reflects an unprecedented and refreshing level of consensus to create a national system that is long overdue and should be enacted into law now.
Vince Ventimiglia Principal, Faegre BD Consulting Adviser to the PDSA Washington