The House Energy & Commerce Committee has approved several more bipartisan public health bills, including a series of bills intended to combat opioid abuse and drug addiction. Specifically, the Committee approved:
- H.R. 4586, Lali’s Law – to authorize grants to states for developing standing orders for naloxone prescriptions and educating health care professionals on dispensing of opioid overdose reversal medication without person-specific prescriptions.
- H.R. 3680, the Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act – to establish a grant program for co-prescribing opioid reversal drugs for high-risk patients.
- H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act –to reauthorize a residential treatment program to aide pregnant or postpartum women engaged in substance abuse.
- H.R. 4641 – to authorize the HHS Secretary to establish an inter-agency task force to review and disseminate best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication.
- H.R. 4978, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act – to require the Comptroller General to report on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. During consideration, an amendment was adopted to exempt abuse-deterrent formulations (ADF) of prescription drugs from the definition of “line extension” for Medicaid rebate purposes to incentivize the development of ADF to combat opioid abuse. The cost of the amendment was offset by a provision in the President’s FY 2017 proposed budget that would prevent the public disclosure of predictive algorithms used to identify fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP programs.
- H.R. 1818, Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act – to create a demonstration program to streamline state emergency medical technician (EMT) requirements for veterans who have already completed military EMT training.
- H.R. 4981, the Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act –to amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to expand access to medication-assisted treatment while minimizing the potential for drug diversion.
- H.R. 4969, James Thomas Decker Act — to direct HHS to report on the resources available to youth athletes and their families regarding the dangers of opioid use and abuse, non-opioid treatment options, and how to seek addiction treatment.
- H.R. 4599, Reducing Unused Medications Act – to amend the CSA to clarify when a Schedule II drug prescription may be partially filled.
- H.R. 4976, Opioid Review Modernization Act – to require the FDA to work with expert advisory committees before making certain product approval and labeling decisions; to make recommendations on education programs for prescribers of extended-release and long-acting opioids; and to encourage the development of opioids with abuse-deterrent properties.
- H.R. 4982, Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act – to require the Comptroller General to report to Congress on substance abuse treatment availability and infrastructure needs.
- H.R. 3250, DXM Abuse Prevention Act — to prohibit and establish civil monetary penalties regarding the sale of a drug containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to an individual under age 18 unless the individual has a prescription or is actively enrolled in the military.
The legislation is now awaiting consideration by the full House.