McSally Introduces Transformative Legislation to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Martha McSally introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Best Practices Act in response to the opioid epidemic that has plagued communities across Arizona. PDMPs are electronic databases that track opioid prescriptions in a state. This legislation would direct the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to coordinate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop best practice guidelines to strengthen and enhance PDMPs. This legislation would also facilitate the adoption of PDMPs by all states, and create a pilot program to share PDMP data between states.
“The opioid epidemic has torn apart families and ruined lives forever. 116 Americans die every day from a drug overdose. These victims come from every background - they are teachers, ranchers, retirees, and students. No parent should have to bury their own child,” said Congresswoman McSally. “This crisis has plagued Arizona for too long. We’ve taken steps to combat this epidemic but there’s still more work to be done. That’s why I introduced the PDMP Best Practices Act because this bill will save lives and keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands by helping those who need it the most.
PDMPs can be a powerful tool to track the diversion and misuse of controlled substances as well as harmful drug interactions. The PDMP Best Practices Act would facilitate the creation of guidance on what information should be submitted to PDMP’s including: (1) patients at the highest risk for misusing controlled substances; (2) information helpful for identifying inappropriate trends in prescribing; (3) best practices on treatment options for prescribers considering medication assisted treatment for substance abuse disorders; (4) identifying barriers to implementation of these guidelines, and steps to address the barriers.
In May, Representative McSally chaired a field hearing to examine how an unsecured border magnifies the opioid crisis in Arizona. Experts from law enforcement, state government, and community organizations testified about the solutions they believed would curb addiction and save lives. Additionally, the House of Representatives successfully passed 70 bills to combat and solve the opioid epidemic.