Press Release

#FullCmte Advances 25 Bills to Combat the Opioid Crisis, Other Committee Priorities


05.09.18

WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), today held a markup and advanced 32 bills to the House of Representatives. 25 of those bills will help combat the opioid crisis.

“We know there is no silver bullet, no one-size-fits-all approach that will remedy the catastrophic effects of this crisis over the last decade. But much can be done to help vulnerable patients get the treatment they want and need, and to ensure these powerful drugs are not getting into the wrong hands,” said #FullCmte Chairman Walden. “These bills will help protect our communities and bolster enforcement efforts, strengthen our prevention and public health efforts, and address coverage and payment issues in Medicare.”

In conjunction with today’s markup, the committee debuted the “Personal Stories from the Opioid Crisis” video series, highlighting individuals and families that participated in our recent roundtable, and which have struggled with or lost loved ones to substance abuse. Sadly, their stories are shared by so many others across our nation and why the committee is determined to advance legislative solutions to combat the opioid crisis.


Click HERE to watch the video

In total, the #FullCmte advanced:

  • 32 bills to the House of Representatives
  • 31 passed by voice votes
  • 1 passed by roll call vote

The #FullCmte advanced the following bills to combat the opioid crisis:

H.R. 449, Synthetic Drug Awareness Act of 2017, authored by Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Chris Collins (R-NY), will require the U.S. Surgeon General to submit a comprehensive report to Congress on the public health effects of the rise in synthetic drug use among youth aged 12 to 18 in order to further educate parents and the medical community on the health effects of synthetics. H.R. 449 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 4284, Indexing Narcotics, Fentanyl, and Opioids (INFO) Act of 2017, authored by #SubDCCP Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH), will direct HHS to create a public and easily accessible electronic dashboard linking to all of the nationwide efforts and strategies to combat the opioid crisis. H.R. 4284 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5002, ACE Research Act, authored by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and #SubEnergy Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), will provide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with new, flexible authorities to conduct innovative research and spur urgently needed research on new non-addictive pain medications. H.R. 5002 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5102, Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act of 2018, authored by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Hal Rogers (R-KY), will create a loan repayment program for SUD treatment providers.  Specifically, the bill will offer student loan repayment of up to $250,000 for participants who agree to work as a SUD treatment professional in areas most in need of their services. The program will be available to a wide range of direct care providers, including physicians, registered nurses, social workers, and other behavioral health professionals. H.R. 5102 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5009, Jessie’s Law, authored by Reps. Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Dingell, will ensure medical professionals have access to a consenting patient’s complete health history when making treatment decisions by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and disseminate best practices regarding the prominent display of substance use disorder (SUD) history in patient records of patients who have previously provided this information to a health care provider. H.R. 5009 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5176, Preventing Overdoses While in Emergency Rooms (POWER) Act of 2018, authored by #SubEnvironment Vice Chairman David McKinley (R-WV) and Michael Doyle (D-PA), will provide resources for hospitals to develop protocols on discharging patients who have presented with an opioid overdose. These protocols would address the provision of naloxone upon discharge, connection with peer-support specialists, and the referral to treatment and other services that best fit the patient’s needs. H.R. 5176 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5197, Alternatives to Opioids (ALTO) in the Emergency Department Act, authored by Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and McKinley, will establish a demonstration program to test alternative pain management protocols to limit the use of opioids in hospital emergency departments. H.R. 5197 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5261, TEACH to Combat Addiction Act of 2018, authored by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), will support Centers of Excellence, or institutions of learning that have championed SUD treatment education to improve how health professionals are taught about both SUD and pain. H.R. 5261 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5272, Reinforcing Evidence-based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance abuse (RESULTS) Act of 2018, authored by Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), will direct the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to provide guidance for entities applying for SUD and mental illness grants, including guidance to grantees on how best to articulate the rationale for a given program or activity. Additionally, it will also encourage the funding of evidence-based interventions and the replication of promising or effective practices. H.R. 5272 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5327, Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act 2018, authored by #SubHealth Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and #SubHealth Ranking Member Green (D-TX), will establish Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers (CORCs) that will serve as models for comprehensive treatment and recovery. CORCs would utilize the full range of FDA-approved medications and evidence-based treatments, have strong linkages with the community, generate meaningful outcomes data, and dramatically improve the opportunities for individuals to establish and maintain long-term recovery as productive members of society. H.R. 5327 passed the #FullCmte, as amended by Vice Chair Guthrie and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), by voice vote.

H.R. 5353, Eliminating Opioid-Related Infectious Diseases Act of 2018, authored by #SubCommTech Vice Chairman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), will authorize the CDC to undertake an injection drug use-associated infection elimination initiative and work with states to improve education, surveillance and treatment of injection drug-use associated infections, like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis. H.R. 5353 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 3331, To amend title XI of the Social Security Act to promote testing of incentive payments for behavioral health providers for adoption and use of certified electronic health record technology, authored by Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), will promote the testing of incentive payments for behavioral health providers for adoption and use of certified electronic health record technology. H.R. 3331 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5685, the Medicare Opioid Safety Education Act, authored by Reps. John Faso (R-NY), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Jim Renacci (R-OH), will direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to compile education resources for beneficiaries regarding opioid use, pain management, and alternative pain management treatments, and include these resources in the “Medicare and You” Handbook. H.R. 5685 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 3528, Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act, authored by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), will require e-prescribing, with exceptions, for coverage of prescription drugs that are controlled substances under the Medicare Part D program. H.R. 3528 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 4841, Standardizing Electronic Prior Authorization for Safe Prescribing Act of 2018, authored by Reps. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Lujan, seeks to standardize electronic prior authorization under Medicare Part D. H.R. 4841 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5675, to amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to require prescription drug plan sponsors under the Medicare program to establish drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries. H.R. 5675, authored by Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), Peter Roskam (R-IL), and Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), will build off of work done in the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA), and require prescription drug plan sponsors under the Medicare program establish drug management programs for at-risk beneficiaries. H.R. 5675 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5686, the Medicare Clear Health Options in Care for Enrollees (CHOICE) Act, authored by Reps. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), Chris Collins (R-NY), Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Connor Lamb (D-PA), will require prescription drug plans under Medicare Part D to include information on the adverse effects of opioid overutilization and of coverage of non-pharmacological therapies and non-opioid medications or devices used to treat pain. H.R. 5686 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5582, the Abuse Deterrent Access Act of 2018, authored by Reps. Buddy Carter (R-GA), David Loebsack (D-IA), and Tom Reed (R-NY), will direct CMS to evaluate the use of abuse-deterrent opioids in Medicare plans. H.R. 5582 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5684, the Protecting Seniors From Opioid Abuse Act, authored by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), and Rep. Michael Doyle (D-PA), will add beneficiaries at-risk for prescription drug abuse to the list of targeted beneficiaries to be eligible for Medication Therapy Management (MTM) under Part D. H.R. 5684 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5473, the Better Pain Management Through Better Data Act of 2018, authored by Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Lujan, will direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to articulate clear data collection methods that could be used to inform opioid-sparing labeling claims for products that may replace, delay, or reduce or the use of opioid analgesics. H.R. 5473 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5687, the Securing Opioids and Unused Narcotics with Deliberate Disposal and Packaging Act of 2018, authored by Reps. Richard Hudson (R-NC), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), and Ted Budd (R-NC) will direct the FDA to work with manufacturers to establish programs for efficient return or destruction of unused Schedule II drugs, with an emphasis on opioids. These methods could include mail-back pouches to secure facilities for incineration, or methods to immediately inactivate/render unattractive unused drugs. In addition, this bill will facilitate utilization of packaging that may reduce overprescribing of opioids. Finally, this bill will require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study new and innovative technologies that claim to be able to safely dispose of opioids and other unused medications. GAO would review and detail the effectiveness of these disposal methods. H.R. 5687 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 4275, Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act, authored by Reps. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Carter, will help pharmacists detect fraudulent prescriptions. H.R. 4275 will help develop and disseminate materials, giving pharmacists greater understanding and ability to decline to fill controlled substances when they suspect the prescriptions are fraudulent, forged, or appear to be for abuse or diversion. H.R. 4275 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5041, Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, authored by Reps. Walberg and Dingell, will help reduce the number of unused controlled substances at risk of diversion or misuse by allowing hospice employees to safely dispose of these medications on site after the death of a patient. H.R. 5041 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5202, Ensuring Patient Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatments Act of 2018, authored by Reps. Ryan Costello (R-PA), Rick Nolan (D-MN), Karen Handel (R-GA), David Rouzer (R-NC), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY), will make long overdue updates federal law to improve dispensing of implantable and injectable therapies – developed to make abuse, misuse, and diversion more difficult. H.R. 5202 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5483, Special Registration for Telemedicine Clarification Act of 2018, authored by Reps. Carter, Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Handel, Stefanik, and Bobby Rush (D-IL), will clarify telemedicine waivers. Federal law permits the Attorney General to issue a special registration to health care providers to prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine in legitimate emergency situations, such as a lack of access to an in-person specialist. Unfortunately, the waiver process has never been implemented through regulation, and some patients do not have the emergency access they need to treatment. This bipartisan bill directs the Attorney General, with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to promulgate interim final regulations within one year of passage of the law. H.R. 5483 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

The #FullCmte advanced the following bills pertaining to user fees:

H.R. 5333, the Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act of 2018, authored by #SubDCCP Chairman Latta, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), #SubHeatlh Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D., #SubHealth Vice Chairman Guthrie, #SubHealth Ranking Member Green, and Rep. Dingell. H.R. 5333 will modernize regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) consumer health products, and establish a user fee program at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these products. An amendment by #SubDCCP Chairman Latta passed by voice vote. H.R. 5333 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5554, the Animal Drug and Animal Generic Drug User Fee Amendments of 2018, authored by Reps. Mullin and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) will amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to reauthorize user fee programs relating to new animal drugs and generic new animal drugs. An amendment offered by Reps. Hudson and Butterfield passed by voice vote. H.R. 5554 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

The #FullCmte advanced the following bills from #SubEnergy:

H.R. 4606, Ensuring Small Scale LNG Certainty and Access Act, authored by Rep. Johnson and #SubHealth Ranking Member Green, will provide that applications under the Natural Gas Act for the import or export of small volumes of natural gas shall be approved without modification or delay. H.R. 4606 would also open-up new markets for American exports in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, and preserve existing environmental laws to ensure that small scale export facilities receive the proper review. H.R. 4606 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by a bipartisan vote of 35-15.

H.R. 5174, Energy Emergency Leadership Act, authored by Rep. Walberg and #SubEnergy Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL), will update the Department of Energy Organization Act to include energy emergency and energy security functions which the secretary shall assign to an assistant secretary. H.R. 5174 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5175, Pipeline and LNG Facility Cybersecurity Preparedness Act, authored by #SubEnergy Chairman Upton and Rep. Loebsack, will require the Secretary of Energy to carry out a program to coordinate federal agencies, states, and the energy sector to ensure the security, resiliency, and survivability of natural gas pipelines, hazardous liquid pipelines, and liquefied natural gas facilities. H.R. 5175 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

H.R. 5239, Cyber Sense Act, authored by #SubDCCP Chairman Latta and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), will establish a voluntary Department of Energy (DOE) program that tests the cybersecurity of products and technologies intended for use in the bulk-power system, including products related to industrial control systems. H.R. 5239 would also authorize the DOE to provide technical assistance to electric utilities, product manufacturers, and other electricity sector stakeholders to help mitigate identified cybersecurity vulnerabilities. H.R. 5239 passed the #FullCmte by voice vote.

H.R. 5240, Enhancing Grid Security through Public-Private Partnerships Act, authored by Reps. McNerney and Latta, will require DOE to establish a program to facilitate and encourage public-private partnerships to promote and advance the physical and cybersecurity of electric utilities that have fewer resources due to size or region. H.R. 5240 would also direct DOE to assess priorities, policies, procedures, and actions for enhancing the physical and cybersecurity of electric distribution systems. H.R. 5240 passed the #FullCmte, as amended, by voice vote.

The two markups on opioid legislation were first announced on Friday, May 4, 2018. The #FullCmte will hold a second markup on opioid legislation on Thursday, May 17, 2018. More information on the second markup will be posted here, as it becomes available.

A background memo, electronic copies of the legislation, and live stream of the markup can be found online here. Amendment text and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.

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Press Release