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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4641 - To Provide for the Establishment of an Inter-agency Task Force to Review, Modify, and Update Best Practices for Pain Management and Prescribing Pain Medication & H.R. 5046 - Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016

May 10, 2016


STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)

(H.R. 4641 — Rep. Brooks, R-IN, and two cosponsors)

(H.R. 5046 — Rep. Sensenbrenner, R-WI, and 10 cosponsors)

The Administration is committed to addressing the opioid epidemic. While the Administration welcomes Congressional efforts to elevate the importance of combating the epidemic, the Administration is greatly concerned that, without the resources necessary to prevent opioid addiction and increase access to treatment and recovery services, H.R. 4641, H.R. 5046, and related bills that may be considered simultaneously would do little to help the thousands of Americans struggling with addiction.

Every day that passes without Congressional action to support the treatment needs of those suffering from opioid use disorder is a missed opportunity to help the many communities facing the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that opioids – a class of drugs that includes prescription opioid pain medications and heroin – were involved in 28,647 deaths in 2014. In addition to high rates of prescription opioid deaths, there have also been alarming increases in deaths from heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. In 2012, 259 million prescriptions were written for prescription opioids, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills. Further, four in five new heroin users started out by misusing prescription opioid pain medications. These trends will not change by simply authorizing new grant programs, studies and reports. Congressional action is needed to fund the tools communities need to confront this epidemic and accelerate important policies like training health care providers on appropriate opioid prescribing, an essential component of this effort.

In February, the Administration submitted a robust proposal to the Congress to provide $1.1 billion in new funding to address this epidemic and expand access to treatment for prescription opioid abuse and heroin use to help individuals with an opioid use disorder seek treatment, successfully complete treatment, and sustain recovery. This funding also would support the placement of substance use disorder treatment providers in the communities most in need, and would continue to build effective, evidence-based treatment programs. The President's Budget builds on current efforts to expand prescription drug overdose prevention strategies, improve access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and support targeted enforcement activities.

The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to secure the funding necessary to ensure that opioid use disorder treatment is available for those who seek it.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4641 - To Provide for the Establishment of an Inter-agency Task Force to Review, Modify, and Update Best Practices for Pain Management and Prescribing Pain Medication & H.R. 5046 - Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/317431