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Whitfield Applauds Advancement of Energy & Commerce Bills

Whitfield Applauds Advancement of Energy & Commerce Bills

Bill Stephens

April 28th, 2016

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NEWS RELEASE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (KY-01) joined with his colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to advance legislation from both the Energy and Power and Health Subcommittees during a full committee markup on Wednesday.  These bills aim to curb opioid abuse, enhance pipeline safety, and streamline requirements for veterans seeking to become EMTs.  Whitfield released the following statement after passage:

“We have made significant improvements within this bill (H.R. 5050) incorporating views from both sides of the aisle.  I am pleased we have reached a bipartisan agreement and look forward to moving a bill onto the House Floor in conjunction with the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Kentucky has the third highest rate of prescription drug overdoses in the country, claiming the lives of more than 1,000 individuals each year.  These nine pieces of legislation, along with the three we are set to consider tomorrow, will build on our Committee’s effort that started last year with the passage of NASPER to curb this serious public health crisis.”

A summary of each bill considered today is included below:

  • H.R. 5050, the “Pipeline Safety Act of 2016,” originating in Chairman Whitfield’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power, reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrations’ pipeline safety program for five years.  Whitfield is an original cosponsor of the bill that also directs targeted mandates for PHMSA to increase transparency and accountability, complete overdue regulations, and improve safety.
  • H.R. 4641, To provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, and for other purposes -This legislation would establish an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and how pain medication is prescribed.
  • H.R. 4978, Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies ActThis bipartisan legislation would require the Comptroller General of the United States to issue a report one year after enactment on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
  • H.R. 1818, Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support ActThis bipartisan legislation (which passed the House last Congress) would create a demonstration program to streamline emergency medical technician state requirements and procedures for veterans who have already completed military emergency medical technician training.
  • H.R. 4981, Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization ActThis legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act to expand access to medication-assisted treatment, while ensuring that patients receive the full array of quality evidence-based services and minimizing the potential for drug diversion.
  • H.R. 4969, John Thomas Decker Act of 2016This legislation would amend the Public Health Service Act to direct HHS to study what information and resources are available to youth athletes and their families regarding the dangers of opioid use and abuse, non-opioid treatment options, and how to seek addiction treatment. HHS would then be required to report its findings and work with stakeholders to disseminate resources to students, parents, and those involved in treating a sports related injury.
  • H.R. 4599, Reducing Unused Medications Act of 2016 -This legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to clarify when a prescription for a drug listed on Schedule II of the CSA may be partially filled.
  • H.R. 4976, Opioid Review Modernization Act -This legislation would require the FDA to work closely with expert advisory committees before making critical product approval and labeling decisions, and to make recommendations regarding education programs for prescribers of extended-release and long-acting opioids.
  • H.R. 4982, Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2016This legislation would require the Comptroller General of the United States to issue a report to Congress on substance abuse treatment availability and infrastructure needs throughout the United States. This report shall include an evaluation of various substance abuse treatment settings including inpatient, outpatient, and detoxification programs.
  • H.R. 3250, DXM Abuse Prevention ActThis legislation would prohibit the sale of a drug containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to an individual under 18, unless the individual has a prescription or is actively enrolled in the military and place restrictions on distribution of bulk DXM. DXM is commonly found in cough syrup.

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