Congress gets its share of criticism but health officials are applauding a recent attempt in the House of Representatives to address the prescription drug epidemic that is claiming thousands of lives a year.
Some conservatives aren’t happy about this bill, which seeks to track prescription drugs as they make their way through the distribution chain. But committees in the House have approved the bill, moving it forward because of its provisions that will help protect against stolen drugs or counterfeit drugs from entering the distribution flow.
Furthermore, the bill should protect consumers from the rising cost of drugs or drug shortages, which also drive costs up for those who desperately need them. The bill will make it mandatory to track each drug package and to make them traceable down to the individual bottle. The origin of every pill should be easy to ascertain.
Cost A Factor?
The bill is not without is opponents, especially those worried about cost. A member of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association testified during one of the House hearings that tracking every prescription drug will cost billions of dollars. While the bill seeks to keep drugs affordable and lower prescription drug abuse, it would seem that these tracking costs would probably be passed down to the consumer.
Preventing Counterfeit Drugs
One of the positives from the bill would be that it would prevent counterfeit drugs that have no effect on sickness from entering the system. Last year, a drug used to treat cancer was found to be fake. It was acquired from a wholesaler in Turkey. This also could have the potential to help curb prescription drug abuse that is increasingly a problem in the United States.