President Donald Trump signed into law Wednesday comprehensive legislation meant to put controls on the prescription opioid industry, deter opioid abuse and address treatment and recovery. The bill — H.R. 6, the Support for Patients and Communities Act, includes language from three bills introduced by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1.
“While working with members on both sides of the aisle to create these solution to combat this crisis, I learned from constituents, colleagues and others that everyone and every community has been impacted by this epidemic in some way,” Carter said in a statement. “For me, as a pharmacist for more than 30 years, I saw addiction end careers and ruin lives and families.
“This is what has driven me to work so hard on this legislation to address prescription drug abuse while ensuring those who truly need the medications maintain access to it. It is great news this package is now law, and I am committed to continuing this strong bipartisan work to end this crisis once and for all.”
Carter’s contributions to H.R. 6 included specifications that the Department of Health and Human Services conduct a study on abuse deterrent formulations (ADFs) for chronic pain patients in Medicare — ADFs make it harder to modify medication for abuse. Also included was a bill co-introduced by Democratic House Rep. Mark DeSaulnier of California that requires federal agencies to “develop and distribute materials to better educate pharmacists on when they are allowed by law to decline a prescription for a controlled substance.”
Additionally, in H.R. 6 are directions to allow for the prescription of medication through the internet, but with safeguards to prevent abuse.
H.R. 6 passed the House on a vote of 396-14 on June 22, and passed the Senate 99-1 on Sept. 17.
“Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America,” Trump said at the White House signing ceremony. “We are going to end it or we are at least going to make a big dent into this terrible, terrible problem.”