Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, this
five pieces of legislation that will address the
national opioid crisis. Chairman Grassley released the following statement. A
brief description of each approved bill follows.
“Today, we took several steps forward in beating
back the opioid epidemic. It’s a crisis that touches families and communities
across this country. From California to the Carolinas to my home state of Iowa,
we have seen the devastating results of abusing illegal and prescription
opioids, heroin or fentanyl.
“Each of the measures we approved today will help
curb opioid abuse and its tragic consequences. As a cosponsor of five of these
bills, I’ve been glad to work with my colleagues to address this mounting
problem. Our work is not yet done, and I look forward to continued bipartisan
cooperation to enact these measures and continue combatting this epidemic.” Grassley said.
Access to Increased Drug Disposal Act of 2018
S.2645 will encourage
increased participation of authorized collectors in drug take back programs by
awarding grants to states. It will focus particular attention on states within
the lowest quartile of participation in take back programs.
Opioid Quota Reform Act
(Durbin, Kennedy, Grassley,
S.2535 will empower
the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to consider additional factors when
setting annual quotas for opioid drug production in the United States.
Currently, DEA can only consider past sales and estimated demand. This bill
allows the agency to take into account diversion, abuse, overdose deaths and
public health impacts when setting quotas.
Substance Abuse Prevention Act
Tillis, Klobuchar, Blumenthal, Grassley)
reauthorize the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), keeping the
Drug-Free Communities (DFC) and High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA)
programs within that office. It will also boost public awareness of opioid and
heroin addiction as authorized under the Comprehensive Addiction and
Recovery Act (CARA); provide resources for families to stay together when
one is battling substance abuse; and require the Attorney General and the Dept.
of Health and Human Services to complete a plan for educating and training
health care providers in best practices for prescribing controlled substances.
Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act of 2017
Graham, Feinstein, Grassley, Whitehouse, Cornyn, Blumenthal, Tillis, Warner,
Hatch, Hassan, Rubio, Markey, Kennedy, Smith)
S.207 will close a
legal loophole that inhibits the prosecution of opioid analogue traffickers by
clarifying when a controlled substance analogue is or is not intended for human
Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act of 2018
(Feinstein, Grassley, Capito, Durbin)
S.2838 will require
DEA to use anonymized data to track and prevent the diversion of prescription
opioids into illegal sales. The data will be available to registrants, and will
include the total number of distributors serving a single pharmacy or
practitioner and the total number of opioid pills distributed to a single
pharmacy or practitioner.
Each bill was reported favorably
to the full Senate by a voice vote. Full results of today’s Senate Judiciary
Committee executive business meeting can be found HERE
additional piece of legislation, S.2837
the Preventing Drug Diversion Act of 2018
, was held over for
consideration at the next executive business meeting. It is sponsored by Sens.
Hassan and Grassley. That bill will amend the Controlled Substances Act
to define “suspicious order” to include unusually sized orders, orders that
deviate substantially from a normal pattern, orders of unusual frequency and
orders that meet other criteria set by the Attorney General.