The U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill tackling the opioid epidemic, designed to provide treatment, save lives, and stop illegal imports of the powerful opioid fentanyl. The bill is being touted as “the most significant congressional effort against a single drug crisis in United States history.”
The 100-page SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act is comprised of more than 50 bills passed by the house in recent weeks aimed at curbing the nation’s opioid epidemic, such as the Overdose Prevention and Safety Act, which arms doctors with information that can prevent overdoses and prevent them from prescribing opioids to those with a history of drug abuse or addiction.
It also encompasses the Long Term Opioid Efficacy Act, which changes the labeling of drugs like opioids that fall under the Controlled Substances Act. It also includes the Securing the International Mail Against Opioids Act of 2018, which creates an electronic reporting protocol for mail from other countries and provides the U.S. with the power to deny shipments if specific information isn’t provided in advance.
“Together we have broken through what others might see as dysfunction in Washington to achieve a comprehensive legislative package that will provide treatment, save lives, stop illegal fentanyl from coming into this country and in no small measure move America forward in a much better direction,” said Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The bill will now go before the Senate with White House support.