House Sends Two Fitzpatrick Opioid Bills to Senate

Measures designed to prevent prescription drug abuse

September 28, 2018

Washington, DC—The U.S. House of Representatives advanced two bipartisan measures authored by Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) to prevent prescription drug abuse.

The House overwhelmingly passed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act [H.R. 6], which included Fitzpatrick’s REACH OUT Act and CONNECTIONS Act

“As communities across Bucks and Montgomery County continue to deal with the crisis of opioid abuse and addictions, we are targeting key facts of the opioid epidemic to 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. “The REACH OUT Act will ensure that our medical professionals possess the latest tools for preventing prescription abuse, including non-opioid pain management.”

“By facilitating outreach to outlier opioid prescribers, the REACH OUT Act seeks to educate physicians on their prescribing behaviors without limiting their ability to deliver patient care. It will be an effective step towards reducing the amount of unnecessary prescription opioids in communities across the nation,” said Fitzpatrick.

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 provide assistance to state or local governments. This legislation also provides for enhanced collection of substance abuse data.

“As a longtime proponent of states fully utilizing Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs to track controlled-substance purchases, I’m proud the House and Senate passed my CONNECTIONS Act, which would strengthen PDMPs as they examine the best ways to prevent prescription drug abuse. I look forward to seeing both of these measures signed into law,” said Fitzpatrick

Rep. Fitzpatrick’s speech in support of the CONNECTIONS Act can be found here.