The Commission’s report calls for support of Klobuchar’s bipartisan Prescription Drug Monitoring Act and Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act

WASHINGTON, DC – The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has included U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s bipartisan bills to fight drug addiction in its recommendations to the Administration. The Commission’s report calls for support of Klobuchar’s bipartisan Prescription Drug Monitoring Act and the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act.

“As the opioid epidemic continues to take a growing toll in Minnesota and across the nation, we can’t afford to wait any longer before ensuring that our communities have the resources they need to tackle this crisis,” Klobuchar said. “I appreciate the Commission including in its recommendations my bipartisan solutions to strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs and stop synthetic opioids from crossing our borders. By curbing the kind of ‘doctor shopping’ that facilitates addiction and closing loopholes in our postal system that allow foreign manufacturers to ship dangerous synthetic drugs into the country, we can crack down on addiction before it starts.”

Klobuchar introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act with Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Angus King (I-ME) to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP) in all states that receive certain funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states.

The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act would require drug dispensers in covered states to report to the PDMP each opioid prescription that they dispense to patients within 24 hours; practitioners in covered states to consult the PDMP before prescribing opioids to patients; and states to actively notify practitioners when the PDMP shows that a patient exhibits patterns indicative of opioid misuse. To ensure that PDMP data is available across state lines, the bill would also provide for the creation of an inter-state PDMP data-sharing platform and require all covered states to make their individual PDMP data available on this platform.

The STOP Act, which Klobuchar introduced with Senators Portman, Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), helps close a loophole in the U.S. postal system to stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the U.S. The STOP Act would require shipments from foreign countries through our postal system to provide electronic advance data—such as who and where it is coming from, who it is going to, and what is in it—before they cross our borders and enter the U.S. Having this information in advance will enable Customs and Border Protection to better target potential illegal packages and keep these dangerous drugs from ending up in the hands of drug traffickers who want to harm our local communities.  

As a former Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. Klobuchar was one of four senators, along with Senators Portman, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), to lead the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This bipartisan bill, which was signed into law in July 2016, encourages states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against opioid addiction. At the end of 2016, $1 billion was made available by Congress to fund the national effort. Earlier this year, she and ten other senators introduced the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act, which would establish a reliable funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. She and a bipartisan group of senators also introduced the Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act to make it easier to prosecute the sale of “analogue” drugs, which are synthetic substances that are substantially similar to illegal drugs. In September 2014, the DEA implemented Klobuchar’s bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances.