Lance Drug Abuse Action Plan Advances
WASHINGTON, D.C. --- Congressman Leonard Lance’s Opioid Review Modernization Act (H.R. 4976) picked up major momentum Wednesday, sailing through the House Energy and Commerce Committee and advancing to the House Floor for consideration.
“The abuse of prescription opioids and heroin is an urgent crisis in this country. I am working in Washington on a package of reforms and law enforcement mechanisms to combat this epidemic that is harming all communities. My bill ensures our federal health agencies are working together with the medical and pharmaceutical industries to combat abuse. I am confident this legislation and others will soon pass the House of Representatives,” said Lance after the unanimous committee vote.
Studies show that opioid addiction is tied strongly to prescription drug abuse. In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions to people for opioids. Lance’s bill will address that issue by reforming and improving the medical drug approval and label process within the federal Food and Drug Administration. The bill also requires the agency to work closely with expert advisory committees before making critical product approval and labeling decisions and to make recommendations regarding education programs for prescribers of extended-release and long-acting opioids. It would also encourage the development and approval of opioids with abuse-deterrent properties.
H.R. 4976 will likely be considered in the coming weeks before the House of Representatives along with other drug-abuse-fighting legislation from Lance’s Health Subcommittee and the Combat Heroin Taskforce, of which Lance is a member.