Magazine article Drug Topics

Class Act

Magazine article Drug Topics

Class Act

Article excerpt

Bucking the recommendation of its own executive committee, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy membership passed a resolution calling for legislation to create a third class of drugs.

By a unanimous voice vote at NABP's annual meeting in Dallas, members approved a resolution that would place some Rx drugs in a "special class requiring sale only by healthcare professionals authorized by law to prescribe and/or dispense prescription drugs." Patients would also have to be counseled about those drugs. The new class would deny over-the-counter status to Rx drugs that have serious side effects and require patient education.

The resolution also calls for NABP support of the introduction of federal legislation to create the new drug class. Getting such a bill introduced in Congress will be the focus of NABP's new president, Ruth Vandever, Oregon pharmacy board executive director. Noting the Food & Drug Administration's willingness to approve switches, she added that she does not view the new class as a way station for drugs moving from Rx to OTC status. "I'm not sure it's a transition class," she said. "I think these drugs may remain in a special class."

The NABP executive committee members who voted not to back the transition drug class resolution 'should get off the board," suggested Tenny Moss, South Carolina pharmacy board member. Jeff Lurey, Georgia pharmacy board member, voiced strong support for the resolution, adding, "It's not an economic issue; it's a public safety issue;"

Asked why the executive committee didn't back the transition class resolution, committee member John Block of Oregon said it may have come down to fatigue as members batted the issue back and forth. …

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