WASHINGTON – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) today introduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation to help combat the opioid epidemic. The first bill, the Lessening Addiction By Enhancing Labeling (LABEL) Opioids Act, calls for labeling prescription opioid bottles with a consistent, clear, and concise warning that opioids may cause dependence, addiction, or overdose.
The second piece of legislation, the Safe Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act, requires any prescriber of opioid medication to undergo mandatory education on safe prescribing practices. Specifically, it requires all prescribers that are applying for a federal license to prescribe controlled substances, such as prescription painkillers, complete mandatory education that will help encourage responsible prescribing practices. “The path from one bottle of prescription painkillers to addiction needs as many barriers as possible,” said Senator Markey.“We need to ensure that anyone signing a prescription for opioid painkillers understands the full impact that prescription may have on the life of a patient. And then we need to put labels on those prescriptions to caution patients about the dangers of prescription opioids.
Our country is drowning in too many super-charged prescription painkillers, and our families are paying the price with addiction and overdoses. We need to stop opioid abuse and addiction before it takes hold, and these two bills will help doctors and patients make responsible decisions
“President Trump has declared the opioid a national emergency, he has secured $6 billion in new funding to combat the opioid crisis and these two bills will provide him with two additional solutions to fixing this crisis by requiring prescription opioid bottles with a concise warning labels, while also requiring mandatory education that will help encourage responsible prescribing practices,” said Senator Braun.
FOOTNOTE: More than 47,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2017, 17,000 involved prescription opioid painkillers