WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) have secured the inclusion of their bipartisan proposal to combat prescription drug abuse in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reauthorization bill currently moving through the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee.
“Prescription drug abuse has reached unprecedented levels in Pennsylvania and across the country, leading to deaths, serious injuries and costly hospitalizations,” said Senator Casey. “This bipartisan proposal will ensure that the FDA plays an appropriate role in protecting patients from the harmful misuse and abuse of these drugs.”
“Tennessee ranks second in the nation for prescription drug use—much of which is legitimate, but some of which is abusive—so we worked to include this provision that will help Tennessee and other states better monitor and prevent the increasing problem of prescription drug abuse, ” said Senator Alexander.
The bipartisan proposal directs the Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA to undertake a review and make recommendations to better track and promote the safe use of prescription drugs. The recommendations would enhance data collection at the federal level, the coordination and effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring programs at the state level, and provide guidance to health professionals about recognizing and reacting to signs of abuse. The proposal would also require the FDA to reveal within six months how it will review and approve new tamper-resistant products designed to prevent abuse.
The proposal has broad support among health care providers, pharmacists, patient organizations and pharmaceutical companies.