As opioid crisis accelerates, Senators Markey and Braun reintroduce bipartisan legislation to improve prescriber education and demand warning label on opioid addictive drugs

Over 93000 Americans died of overdoses in 2020, highest number on record

Opioid-related overdose deaths increased from 50,963 in 2019 to 69,710 in 2020

Washington (July 15, 2021) – Today, Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) And Mike Braun (R-Ind.) Reintroduced two laws to help fight the opioid epidemic by improving the awareness of the risks associated with prescribing opioids. The first bill, the Safer Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act, requires that prescribers of opioid drugs receive additional training in responsible prescribing practices and the treatment of substance use disorders. The second bill, the Reducing Drug Addiction by Improving Labeling Act (LABEL) on Opioids, calls for the labeling of prescription opioid bottles with a consistent, clear and concise warning label about the drug’s potential for addiction, addiction or overdose. the LABEL Opioid Act Would exempt opioids approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of opioid use disorders, such as methadone and buprenorphine, from the labeling requirement.

“Prescription opioids continue to lead far too many people into drug abuse and dependence,” Senator Markey said. “If providers prescribe these potentially costly drugs, they should also be able to identify when a patient may be struggling with opioid addiction and educate the patient on treatment options. These two laws will help ensure that patients and providers make responsible and informed decisions about prescription opioids. “

“The opioid epidemic has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, and given that severe opioid addiction can affect anyone, we need solutions like these two bills. that ensure that all opioid pill bottles have a clear and concise warning label about the possibility of dangerous addiction and require opioid prescribers to take additional training regarding the particular risks of substance abuse and drug overdose opioids’, Senator Braun said.

Both bills are also co-sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin (DW.V.).

Compulsory education required by the Safe Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act would focus on best practices for pain management and non-opioid alternative therapies for pain, methods of diagnosing and treating a substance use disorder, involving patients with evidence-based treatment evidence for substance use disorders, and tools for managing adherence and diversion of controlled substances, including prescription drug monitoring programs. The legislation also requires the Department of Health and Social Services to assess the impact of implementing this new education requirement on prescribing habits.

A copy of Safe Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act is HERE.

the Safe Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act was previously supported by the American Public Health Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the National Council for Behavioral Health, the National Safety Council, and the Massachusetts Medical Society.

the LABEL Opioid Act would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to promulgate regulations requiring a warning label to be affixed directly to the vial of prescription opioids given to the patient by the pharmacist. Despite increased awareness of the addictive qualities of prescription opioids, approximately twelve percent of patients prescribed an opioid for chronic pain develop an opioid use disorder, and up to 29 percent of patients with chronic pain misuse prescription opioids. Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii have passed state laws requiring prescription opioid labeling, and legislation has been introduced in several other states. Canada has issued regulations to require national labeling of opioids. Congressman Greg Stanton (AZ-09) has reintroduced complementary legislation in the House of Representatives.

A copy of LABEL Opioid Act is HERE.

the LABEL Opioid Act was previously supported by the American Public Health Association, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Safety Council, Trust for America’s Health, and Massachusetts Medical Society.

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