CVS, doctors urge action on prescription drug abuse

A coalition of leading healthcare stakeholders is urging the White House to move forward with a plan to fight prescription drug abuse.

The Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines, whose members include CVS and the American Medical Association, wrote to the administration's drug czar with praise for his 2014 policy agenda.

"We unequivocally support the position that reducing the incidence of abuse must be done primarily through a public-health approach, rather than through incarceration," the coalition wrote to Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

"A public health focus is necessary to balance the need to curb prescription drug abuse, diversion, overdose and death while simultaneously ensuring that patients have access to the appropriate treatments."

Botticelli unveiled the administration's 2014 drug control agenda earlier this month.

The plan focused on curbing use of heroin and prescription opiods like oxycodone and methadone with an approach that emphasizes treatment over punishment.

The alliance volunteered to help implement the strategy and said it is in communication with lawmakers about complementary policies such as expansion of prescription drug monitoring programs.