Thursday, September 20, 2018

Senate passes opioids package

Several outlets reported on the Senate’s passage of legislation to address the opioid epidemic. Colby Itkowitz writes in the Washington Post (9/17) that the Senate “overwhelmingly” passed a package of bills aimed at the nation’s opioid epidemic Monday by a 99 to 1 vote. The package includes 70 bills covering $8.4 billion in funding for programs across multiple agencies. The legislation requires the U.S. Postal Service to screen packages from overseas, typically China, for synthetic opioids and provides greater access to treatment.
The Wall Street Journal (9/17, Andrews, Subscription Publication) reports the package provides funding to the National Institutes of Health to research a nonaddictive pain medication. Another provision clarifies that the FDA has the authority to require prescriptions for opioids to be packaged in set amounts, such as three or seven days.
The AP (9/17, Fram) reports the package creates “new federal grants for treatment centers, training emergency workers and research on prevention methods.” The House passed its own package earlier this summer.