April 18, 2018

Cassidy Provisions Introduced as Part of Legislation to Ramp Up Opioid Crisis Response

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), a member of the Senate Health Committee, today announced several provisions he authored are included in the Opioid Crisis Response Act (S. 2680), bipartisan legislation he cosponsored to ramp up the fight against the opioid epidemic.

 “To solve the opioid crisis in Louisiana, we need a strong, sustained, ‘do everything’ response,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This bill supports safer families and healthier communities by boosting resources to fight addiction and decreasing the overprescription of opioids and the availability of illegal opioids.”

 The legislation would improve the ability of the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to address the opioid crisis and improve data sharing between states.

The legislation includes several provisions spearheaded or authored by Dr. Cassidy, including:

  • Section 505, which incentivizes states to share prescription drug monitoring information with each other and with prescriber licensing boards in order to better identify and cut down on hazardous prescribing habits.
  • Section 303, which improves coordination between the FDA and Customs and Border Protection to increase detection and seizure of illicit drugs at the border. 
  • Section 510, which ensures health care providers have clear guidelines about when they are allowed to tell a patient’s family about a nonfatal overdose.
  • Sections 305, 406, and 501, which provide training for first responders on exposure to fentanyl, create a national standard for recovery residences, and require a report on the effectiveness of placing fill limits on prescriptions to prevent the overprescription of opioids, respectively.
  • Section 308, which updates federal law to improve the availability of implantable and injectable therapies that make abuse, misuse, and diversion of opioids more difficult for those recovering from addiction.