Fitzpatrick Opioid Legislation Signed into Law

Bipartisan opioid package includes measures to prevent prescription drug abuse

October 24, 2018

Washington, DC—Two bipartisan measures authored by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) were signed into law today as part of a bipartisan effort to combat the opioid epidemic.

The President signed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. This bipartisan bill will help in our overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities, and bolstering our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. The legislation signed into law included Rep. Fitzpatrick’s REACH OUT Act and CONNECTIONS Act

“As Bucks and Montgomery counties continue to combat opioid abuse and addiction, the bipartisan SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act will boost our prevention efforts, protect our communities, expand access to treatment and recovery services, and crack down on illicit imports of drugs like fentanyl,” said Fitzpatrick. “While there is still much work to be done, this bipartisan effort will support families across the nation and make our communities safer.”

The Responsible Education Achieves Care and Healthy Outcomes for Users’ Treatment (REACH OUT), H.R. 5796, will direct the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to work with eligible entities, including Quality Improvement Organizations, to engage in outreach with prescribers identified as clinical outliers to share best practices following evaluation of their prescribing behavior.

The CONNECTIONS Act, H.R. 5812, authored by Reps. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) will improve federal support for state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). It authorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to award grants and provides assistance to state or local governments. This legislation also provides for enhanced collection of substance abuse data.

SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act [H.R.6]

Read the entire text here.

Read a section-by-section summary  here.

Note: Section 6052 – REACH OUT Act and Section 7161, 7162 – CONNECTIONS Act

On September 28, the House passed a final bipartisan, bicameral agreement on H.R. 6 by a vote of 393 to 8.  On October 3, the Senate passed the final version of H.R. 6 by a vote of 98-1.  The President signed the bill into law on October 24th.