House Passes Bipartisan Package, Including Dingell Bills, to Combat Opioid Epidemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed a package of bipartisan bills to address the opioid epidemic, including bills introduced by U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12). Three the bipartisan bills, the Advancing Cutting-Edge (ACE) Research Act, Jessie’s Law, the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, and the Opioid Screening and Chronic Pain Management Alternatives for Seniors Act were introduced with Republicans.
“I’ve lived all sides of the opioid epidemic,” said Dingell. “I lived in a household with a father who was an opioid addict before anyone really understood it, and my sister ultimately died of a drug overdose. Yet, I live with a man who is in chronic pain who needs pain pills to live life comfortably. We must make sure we don’t forget the 25 million Americans living in pain who require help. This is a good first step, but much more needs to be done. This critical legislation will save lives but we must ensure we keep a balance for those in need.”
The legislation approved by the House includes:
- The Advancing Cutting-Edge (ACE) Research Act, legislation introduced by Dingell and Rep. Fred Upton (MI-06) to spur urgently needed research on new non-addictive pain medications. The bill provides the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with new, flexible authorities to conduct innovative research on ways to prevent, treat and cure diseases, including vital research to respond to public health threats like the opioid epidemic. For more information, please click here.
- Jessie’s Law, legislation introduced by Dingell and Rep. Tim Walberg (MI-07) named after Michigan resident Jessie Grubb who tragically died of an opioid overdose last year. Jessie’s Law would help ensure doctors have access to a consenting patient’s prior history of addiction in order to make fully informed care and treatment decisions. Providing this information would help prevent cases like Jessie’s, where a recovering addict in Ann Arbor was unknowingly prescribed and discharged with a powerful opioid that led to her death. For more information, please click here.
- The Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, legislation Dingell introduced with Rep. Walberg to help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused medications by allowing hospice professionals to safely dispose of unused drugs after a hospice patient’s death or after the medication is no longer needed.
- The Opioid Screening and Chronic Pain Management Alternatives for Seniors Act, legislation Dingell introduced with Rep. Larry Buschon (IN-08), would ensure that the “Welcome to Medicare” wellness exam includes a review of the beneficiary’s current opioid prescriptions and screening for potential substance use disorder