Reschenthaler Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Opioid Addiction
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representatives Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), David Trone (D-MD), Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM), and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced the bipartisan Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act to prevent opioid addiction in medical patients across the country.
“Too many lives have been cut short by the opioid crisis, which continues to wreak havoc on families and communities in southwestern Pennsylvania and throughout the country,” said Rep. Reschenthaler. “I’m proud to join with Representatives Trone, Leger Fernández, and McKinley to introduce the bipartisan Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act, which will increase awareness of opioids’ addictive qualities and encourage doctors to discuss non-opioid alternatives. I hope our colleagues join us in supporting this bill to empower patients and save lives.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care providers dispensed over 153 million opioid prescriptions in 2019, and a recent study estimates that 1% to 4% of individuals who take prescription opioids develop opioid use disorder, putting their lives at risk. The Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act would establish a grant program incentivizing states to require prescribers to discuss the addictive qualities of opioids with patients, as well as inform them of alternative options before prescribing treatment for acute pain.
“Opioid addiction is on the rise, made even worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we need to take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place,” said Rep. Trone, member of the Commission to Combat Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. “This bill will help ensure that patients have the knowledge to make informed decisions about what treatment option is right for them."
“Countless families across New Mexico and around the country have suffered through the pain of opioid addiction. In New Mexico, one-third of all drug overdose deaths involved prescription opioids. We rely on our health professionals to be clear and honest about treatment. This bill helps ensure these professionals make us fully aware of the risks of opioids before writing a prescription,” said Rep. Leger Fernández. “This bill puts a public health lens on the opioid epidemic and will bring us one step closer to beating it.”
“The opioid crisis continues to take the lives of tens of thousands of Americans across the nation and the pandemic has only exacerbated this epidemic,” said Rep. McKinley. “This bill strengthens communication between patients and prescribers to ensure patients have the information they need to make educated decisions. People need to know the true risks when considering options to manage their pain and understand there are alternatives to highly addictive opioids.”
“Voices for Non-Opioid Choices is dedicated to combatting the opioid epidemic by expanding access to and utilization of non-opioid options for acute pain management,” said Chris Fox, Executive Director, Voices for Non-Opioid Choices. “We applaud Representatives Trone, McKinley, Leger Fernández, and Reschenthaler for introducing The Opioids Patients’ Right to Know Act, which will help to ensure patients and providers are educated about opioids and learn about the non-opioid treatment options that may be available to them. We are hopeful this effort will help reduce the rates of chronic opioid use after surgery in America, and provide greater access to non-opioid options. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to curb the opioid epidemic by providing parity in acute pain management.”
To read the bill text, click here.
To read a bill summary, click here.