H.R. 6 Passes House, Including Amendment Sponsored by Rep. Meadows
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, to confront the opioid crisis. The final bill included an amendment sponsored by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) to improve FDA guidelines for treatment of pain that often leads people to turn to illicit drugs and pain killers.
The amendment, sponsored with Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), authorizes the Food and Drug Administration to develop evidence-based opioid prescribing guidelines for the indication-specific treatment of acute pain. Under the amendment, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs would gather input through a public workshop and comment period, providing a follow-up report to Congress with recommendations on protecting public health through new or improved guidelines. New guidelines will be instrumental in guiding the FDA toward new medical standards that will allow Americans to better and more safely treat their acute pain symptoms.
The amendment is a direct result of input from a wide variety of medical experts and professionals, including over 15 physician and patient advocacy groups, prescription drug manufactures, think-tanks, and physicians at Duke University in North Carolina.
Rep. Meadows released the following statement:
“The opioid crisis is more insidious, more pervasive, and more devastating than it has ever been in America. In my state of North Carolina alone, the number of opioid related deaths has doubled and tripled just within the last 20 years—and back home in my district, it’s one of the top issues our law enforcement teams deal with on a daily basis. As a country, we are struggling, and so many men, women, and families are in need of help and better tools to manage acute pain.
I was proud to support H.R. 6 on the floor today—a bill to directly deal with this crisis—and I’m grateful to my friend and colleague, Joe Barton, for working with me on our amendment to improve FDA guidelines for treatment. This will be critical for providing improved treatment standards and preventing issues that cause so many to turn to opioids in search of relief. If we continue working, we can help provide our medical professionals the tools they need to treat the root of the problem and give so many Americans the assistance they desperately need.”