12/04/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/04/2020 19:32
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representative Steve Stivers applauded the Drug Enforcement Agency's proposed rule as a critical next step in implementing his legislation, the Reducing Unused Medication Act. The bill's language was included in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which was signed into law in 2016.
Specifically, the Reducing Unused Medication Act allows patients, in consultation with their doctors, to request a partial fill of opioid medications by pharmacists.
'In the four years since CARA and the Reducing Unused Medications Act were signed into law, the nation has continued to suffer from a drug epidemic, one that has only worsened amidst the pandemic,' Stivers said. 'The DEA's action is long overdue, but nevertheless I am grateful to see that it has finally taken this important step to keep unused opioids out of the medicine cabinets in homes across the country and out of the hands of those who would abuse them.'
More than 50,000 Americans died in 2019 due to an opioid overdose, with tens of thousands more likely experiencing a non-fatal overdose. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, 40 states have also reported an increase in overdoses. Over the past decade, the epidemic has been exacerbated by the large number of opioids in circulation.
Working in a bicameral and bipartisan fashion, Representative Stivers has continually urged the DEA to update its regulations to align with the Department of Health and Human Services, which finalized its rule on earlier this year. Together with Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), he has sent multiple letters requesting status updates and a rapid implementation of the law.