The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which Klobuchar introduced with a bipartisan group of senators, passed the Senate today; It will encourage states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against addiction
To build upon the monumental first step of CARA, today, Klobuchar and Senators Joe Manchin and Angus King introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that as her bipartisan legislation to combat prescription drug abuse passed the Senate and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law, she has introduced a bill to require prescribers to use prescription drug monitoring programs before prescribing powerful painkillers and also require states to make sure these programs use best practices. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which Klobuchar introduced with Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and which passed the Senate today, would encourage states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against addiction. To build upon the monumental first step of CARA, today, Klobuchar and Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act to require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states.
“As a former prosecutor, I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by opioid abuse in communities across the country. In Minnesota alone, overdose deaths rose by 11 percent in just one year,” Klobuchar said. “After today’s vote, this important legislation goes to the President’s desk for his signature. And families and communities will have the resources they need to save lives and begin to reverse this deadly trend.”
“But the CARA bill is just a start. The bill I have introduced today--the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act--would require states to have prescription drug monitoring programs that use best practices, curbing the kind of doctor shopping that facilitates addiction,” Klobuchar continued. “In May, I heard about a patient at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation treatment center who filled 108 prescriptions for painkillers from more than 85 different prescribers throughout Minnesota. We know that opioid addiction too often begins with the abuse of legal prescription painkillers. And with this bill, we can do something about that.”
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act will:
· Expand prevention and educational efforts—particularly aimed at teens, parents and other caretakers, and aging populations—to prevent the abuse of opioids and heroin and to promote treatment and recovery.
· Expand the availability of naloxone to law enforcement agencies and other first responders to help in the reversal of overdoses to save lives.
· Expand resources to identify and treat incarcerated individuals suffering from addiction disorders promptly by collaborating with criminal justice stakeholders and by providing evidence-based treatment.
· Expand disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications to keep them out of the hands of our children and adolescents.
· Launch an evidence-based opioid and heroin treatment and interventions program.
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.
· Require practitioners in covered states to consult the PDMP before prescribing opioids to patients.
· Require 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.
Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. Klobuchar and Senator Joe Manchin recently introduced the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment Act (LifeBOAT), which would establish a permanent funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. In September 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (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. As Hennepin County Attorney, drug cases accounted for one-third of her office’s total caseload.