American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Opioid Package Signed Into Law

The President signed the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) October 24. Prior to the President’s signature, this legislation passed with broad bipartisan support in the House by a vote of 393-8 and in the Senate by a vote of 98-1.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act includes provisions that focus on treatment and prevention for opioid abuse and misuse, safe disposal of opioids, electronic prescribing for controlled substances under Medicare Part D, and enhancement and development of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs. The law also calls for studying the effects of state and federal legislation that limits the prescription of opioids, creating standards for electronic prior authorization in Medicare Part D, and addressing the flow of illegal opioids into the U.S. Also significant is what the law does not contain—federal mandates on physicians.

This legislation incorporates language from more than 100 opioid-related legislative proposals and is the result of dozens of congressional hearings and markups. During the legislative process, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) actively advocated for a patient and provider education-focused approach to address the opioid epidemic and for averting one-size-fits-all legislative mandates on prescribers. The ACS’ advocacy efforts included responding to congressional requests for information, submitting letters to key congressional committees, and including opioid talking points in meetings with the offices of members of Congress during the 2018 Leadership & Advocacy Summit.

For more information about ACS opioid policy, contact Justin Rosen, ACS Congressional Lobbyist, at jrosen@facs.org or 202-672-1528.

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