July 15, 2016
Final Consensus Opioid - Prescription Drug Abuse Legislation Includes Key ASA-Backed Provisions
Update: On July 22, President Obama signed S. 524 into law.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted 92-2 to pass S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), legislation that includes numerous grant programs and ASA-supported provisions to address the prescription opioid abuse epidemic. The U.S. House of Representatives previously voted overwhelmingly to pass this bill as well, which is now expected to be signed into law by the President.
ASA-supported provisions in CARA include programs that expand access to naloxone and a provision which allows patients to partially fill prescriptions for controlled substances. Also, the legislation reauthorizes the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER), a public health grant program to support state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and to promote interstate “interoperability” among PDMPs, which has been long-supported by ASA.
ASA commends the efforts of Congress to address prescription opioid abuse by addressing the fundamental understanding of pain. The legislation includes a provision on opioid research, which enables the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to intensify and coordinate fundamental, translational, and clinical research of the NIH with respect to the understanding of pain, the discovery and development of therapies for chronic pain, and the development of alternatives to opioids for effective pain treatments.
Read ASA’s comment letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on ASA-supported provisions of CARA
View the Joint Explanatory Statement of the Conference Committee