A measure designed to reduce prescription drug abuse passed in the House on Tuesday with bipartisan support, according to The Hill.
The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act, changing the definition of “imminent danger to the public health or safety” so that it would apply to drugs that pose present or foreseeable health risks, the article notes.
Under the measure, called the Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act, prescription drug manufacturers registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could submit a “corrective action plan” before a drug is suspended.
“Any legitimate business involved in distributing or dispensing prescriptions welcomes appropriate oversight and regulation,” said bill co-sponsor Tom Marino, a Pennsylvania Republican. The bill was also sponsored by Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee; Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, and Judy Chu, a Democrat from California.
“Prescription drug abuse is claiming lives all across this country,” Welch said in a news release. “Painkillers are falling into the wrong hands while delivery of these same drugs is being stalled to the patients that need them, including seniors and those battling cancer. To fix this problem, drug suppliers and federal officials need to be able to work hand-in-hand to improve our drug delivery system and that’s exactly what this legislation does.”
“Simply acknowledging the epidemic of prescription drug abuse isn’t enough,” Blackburn said in a news release. “Congress has a responsibility to make sure the law is crystal clear for both DEA and legitimate businesses who want to understand what the rules are so they can do the right thing. That is why I am so pleased the House has acted today on our legislation that seeks to ensure the prescription drug supply chain is safe and secure for the patients that truly rely upon it to alleviate pain and treat illnesses.”