Congress, Medical Societies Address Approaches to Combat Opioid Crisis

Two different approaches to attack the opioid-fueled substance use disorder (SUD) crisis are on display this week.

Two different approaches to attack the opioid-fueled substance use disorder (SUD) crisis are on display this week, as Congress readies itself for action on more legislation, while 2 major medical organizations focused on payment models in order to deliver improved care.

Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, and Senator Patty Murray, D-Washington, introduced bipartisan opioid legislation Tuesday and said the Senate Health Committee will consider the legislation next week.

Alexander’s office said the bill is composed of 40 different proposals, mostly from Republican and Democratic members of the Senate health committee, and is the result of 7 hearings over several months. Alexander is the chair of the health committee and Murray is the ranking member.

The senators said the bill, called the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 (S. 2680), will improve the ability of HHS, the FDA, the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, as well as the departments of education, labor, the Health Resources and Service Administration, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to address the crisis, which is estimated to kill about 100 people per day.

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