WASHINGTON, DC – It was a monumental week in Washington in the fight to combat the opioid crisis, the #CrisisNextDoor. The week started with the Trump Administration releasing their plan to help combat the opioid crisis before two Energy and Commerce Committee hearings over the course of three days.
Click HERE to hear from some E&C members on their work to combat the crisis.
USA Today: Congress prepares to take on opioid crisis amid evidence the epidemic is growing worse.
CNN: This is how lawmakers plan to end the opioid crisis.
Washington Post: House Energy and Commerce Committee grills DEA chief over free flow of opioids.
Charleston Gazette-Mail: DEA ripped for failing to stop drug firms from flooding WV with painkillers.
CQ: House kicks off two-day opioid hearing.
USA Today: Feds work with drugmakers to boost research into non-opioid painkillers, treatments.
Washington Times: FDA seeks authority to destroy illicit drug shipments.
“From helping those struggling with addiction on the road to recovery to providing resources to those on the front lines combating the crisis, we see great potential in these ideas, many of which track with our ongoing efforts,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS) upon the plan’s release.
On Tuesday, DEA Acting Administrator Robert Patterson testified as the sole witness before #SubOversight about the committee’s bipartisan investigation into alleged pill dumping in West Virginia.
Members of #SubOversight raised a number of issues, questioning Acting Administrator Patterson about DEA’s use of Automated Reports and Consolidated Ordering System (ARCOS) data, how it could have prevented what happened in West Virginia, and about their use of Immediate Suspension Orders.
Over the course of two days, members examined bills focused on: research, development, prevention initiatives, and recovery and treatment efforts. A full list of bills considered can be found here.
During Wednesday’s portion of the two-day hearing, #SubHealth Chairman Burgess spoke to the urgency of this crisis, saying, “This epidemic is in our hospitals, in our living rooms, and on our streets. Our partners at federal agencies must rise up to the challenge and deliver these vital resources for the states and communities most hurt by this crisis.”
Chairman Walden reiterated the committee’s dedication to combat the opioid crisis, saying, “While this committee spearheaded the legislative efforts in CARA and Cures that has already devoted a record amount of federal resources to address this crisis, we can and must do more to meet this growing need.”
The House and Senate-passed omnibus is another step forward in that action, providing $4 billion this year, the largest investment to date, to help address prevention, treatment, and enforcement issues.
To learn more about Energy and Commerce’s comprehensive efforts to combat the opioid crisis, click HERE.