APS E-News | Advocacy Update Report | September 2018
Opioids Package Nears Passage in Congress
According to Robert Saner of the Pain Care Coalition (PCC), the House and Senate leaderships are trying to push an opioids package through before, and not after, the upcoming House recess for the mid-term elections.
“Instead of a formal House-Senate conference, work to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of HR 6 has been going on behind the scenes, and may be coming to a head quite soon,” said Saner. He added that a few issues like the Medicaid IMD exclusion, and an unrelated fight over the Medicare “donut hole” have attracted Member interest, but the ones the PCC cares about are being handled by staff from the various committees.
For APS, the key provisions of the legislation involve funding for pain research. The Senate version updates and strengthens the mandate of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC). Absent a separate institute or center devoted to pain research, the IPRCC and the NIH Pain Consortium advocate for the critical need for increased pain research and coordination across various NIH Institutes and other government research programs.