This week kicked off a round of legislative hearings by the House Energy and Commerce Committee that will be held in March. Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is on a mission and has made addressing the opioid crisis a top priority. He noted that his committee is focused on legislating as well as investigating. This week’s hearing focused on improving patient safety and bolstering enforcement tools with the consideration of the following eight bills:

  • H.R. 2851 – Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act
    Authored by Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.)
  • H.R. 5041 – Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act
    Authored by Reps. Tim Wahlberg (R-Mich.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.)
  • H.R. 2063 – Opioid Preventing Abuse through Continuing Education (PACE) Act of 2017
    Authored by Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.)
  • H.R. 4275 – Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act
    Authored by Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) and Buddy Carter (R-Ga.)
  • The Ensuring Patient Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatments Act of 2018
    Authored by Reps. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) and Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) (still in draft)
  • The Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act of 2018
    Authored by Reps. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) and Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) (still in draft)
  • The Improving Access to Remove Behavioral Health Treatment Act of 2018
    Authored by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) (still in draft)
  • The Tableting and Encapsulating Machine Regulation Act of 2019
    Authored by Rep. David Kustoff (R-Tenn.)

The chairman’s goal is to get legislation through his committee by Memorial Day (May 28). The next two hearings will focus on public health and prevention efforts and insurance coverage and payment issues.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is interested in hearing from Alliance members on the impact the opioid crisis is having on the populations served in order to inform our legislative work on this issue. Email Carla Plaza, director of public policy and government relations to discuss.

View more public policy news  and sign up for the weekly Alliance Policy Radar online.