WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sens. John Kennedy (R-La.) and Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) bill, the Opioid Quota Reform Act of 2018, passed the U.S. Senate today as a part of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 6, The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, a package of opioid related bills. The package represents the work of over 70 senators and proposals from five committees including Judiciary, Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Finance, Commerce and Banking. Sens. Kennedy and Durbin introduced the Opioid Quota Reform Act of 2018 in March of this year.
This bipartisan legislation will enhance the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) existing opioid quota-setting authority by improving transparency and enabling the DEA to adjust quotas to prevent opioid diversion and abuse. The bill is a balance between ensuring that patients who legitimately need pain management drugs can get them while sharpening the DEA’s ability to fight opioid abuse. The rate of opioid-related overdose deaths is increasing in Louisiana.
“Our nation’s opioid crisis has reached an unprecedented level,” said Sen. Kennedy. “Addiction reaches every household regardless of age, race or socio-economic background. While I am proud that my bill has passed the Senate, I am more proud that the Senate was able to come together in an overwhelmingly bipartisan manner to pass this important legislation. Our legislative package fights the opioid epidemic by helping to reduce the use and supply of opioids, encouraging recovery, supporting caregivers and families and finding long term solutions to the opioid epidemic.”
Highlights from the bill package include:
- Including the STOP Act to make it more difficult to mail illegal opioids into the U.S. from other countries through the U.S. Postal Service.
- Ensuring that states share data from the Prescription Drug Monitoring programs.
- Giving addicts the help they need to recover through opioid recovery centers, medication-assisted treatment and housing services.
- Helping families through treatment that focuses on the family as a whole instead of just on the individual.
- Developing new non-addictive painkillers.