Reps. Blackburn, Marino Introduce the Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act
Washington D.C.—Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) and Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) reintroduced their signature prescription drug diversion bill in the 114th Congress. The bill is scheduled to be the subject of a hearing in the House Energy & Commerce Committee on January 27th.
H.R. 471 - the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015 is a critical and comprehensive approach to preventing prescription drug abuse by creating more collaboration between the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), drug distributors and pharmacies while maintaining patient access to important drugs. The bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the DEA to collaborate on the improvement of access and enforcement.
This legislation is also supported by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS).
Congresswoman Blackburn (TN-07) issued the following statement regarding H.R. 471’s introduction:
“I look forward to once again working with Congressman Marino and building on our efforts from last Congress,” Blackburn said. “This legislation will foster a more collaborative environment between manufacturers, wholesalers, retail pharmacies and federal enforcement agencies. According to the CDC, one hundred and twenty people die each day as a result of prescription drug overdose. We must be aggressive about addressing this epidemic, while also ensuring that patients who need medications to alleviate pain and treat illnesses will have access to them through a safe and secure supply chain.”
Congressman Marino said the following of this legislation:
“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Energy and Commerce Committee on getting this critically important legislation passed and moved to the House floor for debate and votes.
“One of the things I think my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will find appealing is that it requires federal agencies like HHS to actually consult with local pharmacies and other stakeholders on how best to prevent prescription drug abuse; especially from an operational standpoint. We have to remember it is pharmaceutical professionals on the ground that are closest to this issue and know how to appropriately address it.
“The last thing we want in the absence of this legislation is restricted access to important drugs patients legitimately need and the continued devastating abuse of these harmful drugs for folks who do not need them.”
- January 22, 2015 - Blackburn and Marino submitted the initial text of H.R. 471. It can be downloaded below.