Legislation to Fight Opioid Epidemic Authored by Representatives DeSaulnier and Carter Successfully Passes Out of Committee

May 10, 2018
Press Release
Bill is Headed Next to House Floor for a Vote

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) announced that their bipartisan legislation to help inform patients, doctors, and pharmacists on prescription drug dispensing was passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and is expected to be considered on the floor in the coming weeks. The Empowering Pharmacists in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse Act (H.R. 4275) would require federal agencies to develop and distribute materials to better educate pharmacists on when they are allowed by law to decline to fill a prescription for a controlled substance.

“Over the past 20 years the opioid prescribing rate has increased by 56 percent, or enough to provide nearly every adult in America with a bottle of pills. With such a high volume of prescriptions being written, there is a very serious and increased risk that prescriptions can be forged, fraudulent, or altered. Addressing the opioid epidemic requires attacking it from all angles,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “As our bill heads to the floor for a vote, I hope my colleagues from both sides of the aisle will join Representative Carter and I in supporting this critical legislation to combat fraudulent prescriptions.”

“As a pharmacist for more than 30 years, I know firsthand that in many cases, pharmacists are the last line of defense against patients plagued with addiction or interested in wrongdoing,” said Congressman Carter. “Now more than ever we need commonsense legislation like this to ensure pharmacists and health care professionals have the tools they need when faced with this situation. I am proud to lead this effort with my colleague Representative DeSaulnier and I am glad this legislation is headed to the House Floor for consideration as we continue our bipartisan fight to end this crisis facing our nation.”

H.R. 4275 is supported by the National Community Pharmacists Association. A copy of the bill can be found here.