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Congressman Tom Marino

Representing the 10th District of Pennsylvania

Reps. Marino, Blackburn Hail Passage of Prescription Drug Enforcement Legislation

April 21, 2015
Press Release

Reps. Marino, Blackburn Hail Passage of Prescription Drug Enforcement Legislation

Washington D.C.—Congressman Tom Marino (PA-10) and Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-07) applauded the passage of H.R. 471, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015. The bill is a signature prescription drug diversion bill of the 114th Congress and passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee on January 27th, 2015.

Today the bill was passed by the House of Representative by voice vote. It offers a critical and comprehensive approach to combat prescription drug abuse by increasing collaboration between the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), prescription drug distributors and pharmacies. However, a central tenant to its bipartisan support was the strong protections of patients’ access to important medicines. The bill also directs intergovernmental agency collaboration and integration regarding drug abuse enforcement and preserving patient accessibility between the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the DEA.

“It just goes to show you that persistence, commonsense and a little elbow grease can go a long way in getting important legislation passed,” Marino said. “I am especially thankful to my friend, Congressman Blackburn, because her efforts really helped us push this bill over the finish line. It is now common knowledge that prescription drug abuse is an epidemic and yet sometimes the solutions to abuse have restricted legitimate patients access to the drugs they require. Let it be known, especially to our Senate colleagues, that this bill protects access and improves enforcement outcomes. Its passage signals our commitment to a safer and healthier America.”

“This legislation will result in better protections against the inappropriate use of prescription drugs by bringing greater clarity and transparency to the requirements for safe and secure distribution of these medicines,” Blackburn said. “I am so pleased to have helped lead this bipartisan effort with Congressman Marino to ensure that patients who have a legitimate need for medications can receive them while we are battling the drug diversion and abuse problem in this country. It is my hope that the Senate will follow suit and act quickly to send this bill to the President's desk as soon as possible.”

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Background:

  • On January 27th, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed H.R. 471
  • On January 22nd, 2015, Representatives Marino and Blackburn reintroduce the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2015
  • On January 22nd, 2015 the Healthcare Distribution Management Association issued a public statement supporting the legislation's reintroduction
  • On January 20th, 2015, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' President & CEO Steven Anderson wrote a letter to Congressman Marino expressing support for H.R. 471