Senate Passes Bill in Response to Opioid Crisis

Emerald Coast Medical Association is dedicated to keeping our members up to date on any legal changes going on in the medical community. The most recent one being a massive package of measures in response to the ongoing opioid crisis. This package includes over 70 bills, each of which makes a significant impact on how the opioid crisis is handled.

The package was passed with the majority of Senators voting yes and only one Senator voting no. This bill will go on to the House of Representatives before advancing on to President Donald Trump. The House of Representatives had previously passed a similar package, so this one should go through with little trouble. One Senator, Lamar Alexander, described opioids as being the “most serious public health epidemic.” This statement further proved to the rest of the Senate the importance of this package of bills.
One bill included in the package is the STOP Act, which is put in place to stop illegal drugs at the border. Another is Jessie’s law; this bill was named after a Michigan woman that overdosed on opioids and died. Jessie’s law ensures that doctors can access patients’ prior addiction history, with consent, so that they can make informed decisions when treating an addict.

A bill called the Patient Right to Know Act had strong support from Senator Alexander. Certain contracts bar pharmacists from informing patients when their insurance causes a prescription to cost more than if they paid for it out of their pocket. This bill voids these contracts and allows pharmacists to make patients aware of when they are in this situation.

This package of bills would provide various benefits and an added layer of protection to Americans everywhere. Banning pharmacy gag clauses will benefit many people, patients, and pharmacists alone. As of right now, this package of bills is moving up to The House of Representatives and is expected to make it even further. There are far more bills listed in the package than just the ones mentioned in this article. Find the full list here.

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