Landmark Opioids Legislation to Pass Senate
‘The situation facing Americans and communities is urgent. With this landmark legislation, the Senate has risen to the moment. It’s no wonder that experts and advocates representing more than 200 organizations on the front lines of the opioid crisis have publicly called on the Senate to act. That is just what we will do when we pass this landmark legislation today.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the landmark opioids legislation before the Senate:
“Today, the Senate will take two important actions to help vulnerable Americans. First, we will pass the Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act, spearheaded by Senator Collins. This legislation would ban so-called ‘pharmacy gag clauses,’ which prohibit pharmacists from sharing drug pricing information that could save consumers money. In circumstances when the out-of-pocket retail cost of a medication is actually cheaper than the price through insurance, it will allow customers access to the information they need to choose the more affordable route.
“After that, we’ll vote on major, landmark legislation to address the opioid crisis that continues to weigh on our nation. My fellow Kentuckians and I are all too aware of how drug abuse and addiction attack families and communities. Overdoses killed 1,500 Kentuckians last year alone. That’s more than four fatalities per day. Nationwide, it’s more than 115 fatalities per day. The effects of this emergency compound themselves. The crisis can eat away at family ties, at community institutions, at economic opportunities -- precisely the things that are necessary to lift Americans out of addiction and into recovery.
“On one hand, research suggests that opioid use rose the most in the very communities where employment fell the most. On the other hand, experts blame opioids themselves for a major share of falling workforce participation, to the tune of roughly one million missing workers. A comprehensive crisis demands a comprehensive solution. That’s exactly what this landmark legislation is. It combines work from five committees and input from more than 70 Senators.
“First, this legislation will help cut off the opioid crisis at its roots. It will stop more drugs at the border, improve interstate monitoring, and encourage reform of prescription dosing. It will encourage recovery, through more resources for state and local responders, better access to care for patients, and more support for the families and caregivers of those affected. And this legislation looks to the future, by supporting long-term medical research and economic solutions to get our country past this vicious cycle.
“I’m proud that two of my own provisions are included: The CAREER Act, which expands grants and targets funding for transitional housing and job opportunities to help recovering individuals find their footing and stay sober. And my Protecting Moms and Infants Act, which will refine our federal efforts to combat the effects of opioids on expecting mothers and their unborn children.
“The situation facing Americans and communities is urgent. With this landmark legislation, the Senate has risen to the moment. It’s no wonder that experts and advocates representing more than 200 organizations on the front lines of the opioid crisis have publicly called on the Senate to act. That is just what we will do when we pass this landmark legislation today.”
Related Issues: Opioid Abuse