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Mullin Headlined The Hill’s Event on Seniors and Opioids

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Washington, October 24, 2017 | comments

Today, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) took part in The Hill’s “America’s Opioid Epidemic: Aging & Addiction” event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  Congressman Mullin joined Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA) and The Hill’s Editor-in-Chief, Bob Cusack, on stage to discuss the opioid crisis, its effect on senior citizens, and the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act.  Watch the event in its entirety at this link.


On opioid addiction in the United States and in Oklahoma

“When you start talking about real numbers, it’s scary when you start thinking [that] in one year, there were 259 million prescriptions for opioids written.  That’s one per adult inside the United States.  Inside Oklahoma, we had the highest per capita of any state.  We had 128 prescriptions for opioids written per 100 adults.  It is scary the amount of abuse that’s taking place.”

On the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act

“The bill that we’re here talking about today, it is not the final step, but it’s one step to protecting—a lot of times the most vulnerable—which are the seniors…and understanding the epidemic that could take place with our seniors and lead to the abuse of those that are living inside their homes because [in my district]…it’s not unusual for you to see two or three generations living in one home.  When they have access to grandma and grandpa’s opioids that maybe they’re not using, then it just adds to the untold story of the ones that aren’t even prescribed to it, that are getting their hands on it.”

“I have a very rural district.  It’s difficult for seniors who actually need the prescription to drive to see their doctor.  With e-prescriptions, they can actually get the prescription emailed, they can get it on file, without having to go see the doctor.  It’s the addiction portion and the convenience portion.”

On the White House’s action on the opioid crisis

“Keep in mind, some of the statistics I’m quoting are from 2012, so this problem is not just new to the White House…This isn’t the first administration that’s had this interest…The president is bringing it to [national] attention.  Let’s be fair to this White House…At least we’re willing to work across [party] lines and get this problem to the national attention, which it hasn’t been and it should have been there a long time ago.”

As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and its Health Subcommittee, Congressman Mullin has been active in his efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.  Along with Congresswoman Katherine Clark (D-MA), Congressman Mullin introduced H.R. 3528, the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act, to mandate electronic prescriptions for all controlled substances under Medicare. 
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