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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act of 2016

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2016-05-11

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    JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3680 the ``Co-Prescribing To Reduce Overdoses Act of 2015.'' This bill requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a grant program to support prescribing opioid overdose reversal drugs, such as naloxone, for patients at an elevated risk of overdose, including patients prescribed an opioid.

    Opioids are drugs with effects similar to opium, such as heroin and certain pain medications.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 259 million opioid prescriptions were written in 2012, more than enough for every adult in the United States.

    In 2013 nearly 4.5 million people in the United States without a valid medical need were using prescription painkillers.

    Both states and the federal government have begun responding to this growing public health crisis.

    The Obama administration has awarded $94 million to community health centers to improve and expand the delivery of substance abuse services.

    H.R. 3680 would encourage and train health care providers to prescribe lifesaving overdose reversal drugs.

    Enacting this legislation will help reduce drug overdoses across the country by giving at-risk patients better access to lifesaving overdose reversal drugs.

    The plague of opioid overdose deaths across the nation is disturbing, but there are ways to combat this trend.

    H.R. 3680 is supported by the American Medical Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the Harm Reduction Coalition.

    A party, or organization receiving a grant under this legislation will use the grant for the following reasons: 1. To establish a program for co-prescribing opioid overdose reversal drugs.

    2. To train and provide resources for health care providers and pharmacists on the co-prescribing of opioid reversal drugs.

    3. To establish mechanisms and processes for tracking patients participating in the program.

    4. To purchase opioid overdose reversal drugs for distribution.

    5. To offset the copays and other cost sharing associated with opioid overdose reversal drugs to ensure that cost is not a limiting factor for eligible patients.

    6. To conduct community outreach, in conduction with community based organizations, designed to raise awareness of co-prescribing practices and the availability of opioid overdose reversal drugs.

    7. To establish protocols to connect patients who have experienced a drug overdose with appropriate treatment, including medications assisted treatment and appropriate counseling and behavioral therapies.

    Mr. Speaker, the mounting number of people adversely affected and the over 25,000 lives lost expressly demonstrates the need for this type of legislation.

    H.R. 3680 is a positive step in the right direction and I urge all members to support this important legislation.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3680, as amended.

    The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.

    A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.


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