April 16, 2018
ASA and Pain Care Coalition Offer Formal Comments on Senate Opioid Bill
On Wednesday, April 11, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, as part of the Pain Care Coalition, offered formal comments to the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on proposed legislation to address the opioid abuse epidemic. The Pain Care Coalition is comprised of ASA, the American Pain Society and the American Academy of Pain Medicine. In the comments, the Coalition focused on improvements that could be made to the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018.
In the Act, the Coalition supports the inclusion of previously endorsed legislation, S. 2406, the Ace Research Act. Additionally, ASA supports the inclusion of a study on prescriber limits and strongly supports the reauthorization of section 759 of the Public Health Service Act, a modest training grant program in pain care.
While the Coalition supports federal Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) related efforts, it raises concerns about the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as the lead agency, instead supporting designation of SAMHSA as the lead to be consistent with prior laws and program. Additionally, in the letter, the Coalition details that it does not share the enthusiasm of others for the potential use of standard-duration blister packs or similar packaging, instead supporting “partial fill” prescriptions. The Coalition also recommends revision of education and awareness campaigns to prioritize support for ongoing initiatives such as the implementation of the National Pain Strategy.
In February, ASA submitted recommendations to the Senate Committee on Finance on how to best address the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic utilizing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) programs. ASA will continue to support public-private partnerships to address the ongoing opioid abuse epidemic.
Read the Pain Care Coalition letter to the Senate HELP Committee.
Senate one-pager here.