Capitol Hill Focused on Opioids
It seems like new legislation related to opioids and pain management is introduced in Congress every day. Numerous bills are being considered in the House and Senate. Some noteworthy measures being followed by the Pain Care Coalition and APS Public Policy Committee include the following:
S. 260 and H.R. 4733 Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced separate but similar legislation to expand, intensify, and coordinate fundamental, translational, and clinical research of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with respect to opioid abuse, the understanding of pain, and the discovery and development of safer and more effective treatments and preventative interventions for pain. It authorizes $5 billion to establish and maintain the Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative to support research on the understanding of pain, discovery and development of therapies for chronic pain, and development of alternatives to opioids.
H.R. 5261: Treatment, Education, and Community Help to Combat Addiction Act
Authored by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), the bill will support Centers of Excellence or educational institutions that have championed substance use disorder treatment and pain management education to improve how health professionals are taught about substance use disorder and pain.
H.R. 5002: Advancing Cutting Edge Research Act
Authored by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), the bill would give the NIH new, more flexible authority to conduct innovative research and spur urgently needed research on new nonaddictive pain medications.
H.R. 5197: Alternatives to Opioids in the Emergency Department Act
This bill, sponsored by Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and David McKinley (R-WV), would establish a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids in hospital emergency departments.
H.R. ___: FDA Misuse/Abuse
Authored by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), this bill will clarify the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) authority to consider misuse and abuse as part of the drug approval and assessment process for opioids. It also would augment the FDA's capacity to take necessary action to minimize the public health consequences of opioid misuse and abuse.
H.R. 1375: Prescriber Support Act of 2017
This bill would establish a new grant program under the Public Health Services Act to provide assistance to states or collaborations among states that would provide education, training, peer-to-peer consultation, and other resources to prescribers on the treatment of pain and recognition and prevention of substance abuse. The legislation is sponsored by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Evan Jenkins (R-WV).
H.R. 993: Opioid Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act
Sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL), this measure includes a provision for demonstration grants to the states to develop CME criteria at the state level. The criteria would be implemented by state medical boards, but physicians would have to comply as a condition of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration registration.