Today, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) voted to combat the opioid crisis by supporting H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, on the House floor. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and member of the Health Subcommittee, Mullin has played an active role in passing legislation to turn the tide of the opioid crisis. Another one of Mullin's bills, the Overdose Prevention and Patient Safety Act, passed with overwhelming support on the floor earlier this week.
“The opioid crisis is personal to all of us. In 2016, Oklahoma lost 813 loved ones to drug overdoses,” said Mullin. “It’s rare that we see news networks reporting on Congress working in a bipartisan way. Yet, the past two weeks, the House over 50 bills to combat the opioid crisis with overwhelming bipartisan support, including two bills I championed.
“As the lead sponsor of a bill to fight fraudulent prescriptions named the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act, I am proud to see it pass with bipartisan support as a part of H.R. 6 on the House floor. The EPCS Act is a straightforward bill that requires all prescriptions for controlled substances written under Medicare Part D to be prescribed electronically. This digital record of electronic prescriptions will prevent patients from doctor shopping, forging paper prescriptions and allow doctors to see a patient’s opioid prescription history.”
“NACDS thanks Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) for their leadership in introducing and working hard for this legislation,” said National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “Leveraging the benefits of electronic prescribing to help address the opioid abuse epidemic is one of the priority policy recommendations of NACDS, based on the experiences of pharmacists on the front lines of healthcare delivery.”
“There is no silver bullet to remedy the opioid epidemic, but the EPCS Act and the Overdose Prevention and Patient safety Act are two of opioid legislation that help curb the causes of the crisis impacting our families, friends, and communities,” Mullin concluded. “The opioid epidemic is blind to party affiliation, socioeconomic status, geographic location, or age. The House came together to turn the tide of the opioid crisis by passing legislation that will have a real impact on lives in our communities.”
The EPCS Act would require electronic prescriptions for all controlled substances under Medicare. The bill complements state law, which already requires doctors in Oklahoma to check an online database called the Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) when prescribing controlled substances to new patients.
H.R. 6 includes Medicaid, Medicare, and public health reforms to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting communities, and bolstering efforts to combat illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.
The House passed H.R. 6, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, by a vote of 396-14.