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House Passes Three Bipartisan Dingell Bills to Combat Opioid Epidemic

– Today, the House of Representatives passed three bipartisan bills introduced by U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) to address the opioid epidemic. All of the bipartisan bills, the Advancing Cutting-Edge (ACE) Research Act, Jessie’s Law and the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, were introduced with Michigan Republicans. 

For video of Dingell speaking on the House floor, please click here.

“Today the House took a good first step to address the opioid crisis which is ravaging every corner of our country,” said Dingell. “I’ve lived all sides of the epidemic and I know the horrible pain, desperation, and frustration of living with a family member with addiction and the sadness of ultimately losing someone you love. But I also live with a man in intense pain who must use opioids because there are no other alternatives. We must ensure the pendulum does not swing too far in one direction.

“These bipartisan bills should only be the beginning. They will spur research into non-addictive pain medications, they will provide medical providers with the information they need to treat patients, and they will help prevent the diversion of unused prescription drugs. But much more must be done. Tackling the opioid epidemic needs a comprehensive approach that includes putting real dollars behind treatment and addressing mental health crisis in this country.”

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. 
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