Opioids in the News: The "Unseen Face" of the Epidemic and More

June 11, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on May 24, 2018, approved five bills that include provisions related to drug quotas and substance use prevention, in response to the opioid crisis. The Opioid Quota Reform Act will allow the U.S. attorney general to fix and adjust the amount of opioids that are produced and manufactured each year, based on public health considerations. The Substance Abuse Prevention Act of 2018 is a wide-ranging bill; of particular interest to healthcare organizations is its "drug overdose response strategy" section. This section calls for information sharing between public health and public safety entities about substance misuse trends. It also calls for multidisciplinary efforts to reduce drug overdoses. Also of interest to healthcare organizations is the Using Data to Prevent Opioid Diversion Act of 2018, which is designed to increase data sharing by manufacturers and distributers in order to cut down on drug diversion. The committee also approved the Access to Increased Drug Disposal Act of 2018 and the Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act of 2017. On the same day, the Senate Finance Committee introduced 22 bipartisan bills to address the opioid epidemic and how it relates to Medicare and Medicaid.

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