H.R. 4641, Inter-Agency Task Force to Review, Modify, and Update Best Practices for Pain Medication

H.R. 4641

Inter-Agency Task Force to Review, Modify, and Update Best Practices for Pain Medication

Date
May 11, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Molly Newell

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 4641, the Inter-Agency Task Force to Review, Modify, and Update Best Practices for Pain Medication, under a rule. The bill was introduced on February 26, 2016, by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) and was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, on May 3, 2016 by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4641 would require the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in coordination with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Secretary of Defense, and the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration to establish a task force to review and modify best practices for the treatment of pain. Task force members would include representatives from relevant federal agencies, medical professionals, researchers, and individuals who have specific expertise in pain management and addiction to pain medication. No later than 270 days after the task force is convened, it would be required to issue a report to Congress on its findings, including a strategy for disseminating information to relevant medical professionals about best practices in pain management.

 

Background

The United States is experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137 percent, including a 200 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin). During 2014, a total of 47,055 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, with more than 28,000 deaths involving some type of opioid, including heroin.[1]

According to the bill sponsor, “We lose 78 Americans each day to opioid overdose. We have to act now to stem the tide of opioid abuse in this country, and it starts with giving prescribers, law enforcement, treatment professionals and communities the tools they need to prevent opioid abuse, treat substance abuse and addiction, and prevent illegal drugs from being bought and sold.”[2]

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[1] See CDC: Increases in Drug and Opioid Overdose Deaths – United States, 2000-2014
[2] See Press Release, “Brooks Bill to Address Heroin and Opiod Crisis Passes House Energy and Commerce Committee,” April 28, 2016.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 4641 would cost $2 million over the 2016-2021 period, assuming appropriation of the estimated amounts. Enacting H.R. 4641 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4641 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year period beginning in 2027.

Amendments

  1. Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA)—The amendment adds the Office of Women’s Health.
  2. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA)—The amendment requires that any physician, dentists, non-physician prescriber or pharmacist who becomes a member of the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force shall currently be licensed and practicing in their appropriate State.
  3. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL)—The amendment ensures that “first responders” are included for membership on the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force.
  4. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)—The amendment adds to the Task Force an expert in adolescent and young adult addiction, and a person in recovery from addiction to medication for chronic pain whose addiction began in adolescence or adulthood, and directs the Task Force to consider the distinct needs of adolescents and young adults in its development of best practices.
  5. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA)—The amendment adds representatives of Veteran Service Organizations to the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force.
  6. Rep. Richard Nolan (D-MN)—The amendment inserts a representative on the task force for active duty military, armed forces personnel, and veteran health and prescription opioid addiction.
  7. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)—The amendment inserts a minority health expert as a representative to the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force established by this bill.
  8. Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH)—The amendment requires that the task force research addiction trends in communities with high rates of prescription drug abuse.
  9. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)—The amendment requires the Inter-Agency Task Force, as part of its duties to review and update best practices for pain management strategies, to also take into consideration the coordination of information collected from State prescription drug monitoring programs for the purpose of preventing the diversion of pain medication.
  10. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)—The amendment directs the Task Force to consider work done and any public comments submitted regarding electronic prescribing of opioids and its potential benefits, in the course of developing best practices.
  11. Rep. Kieth Rothfus (R-PA)—The amendment requires the inter-agency task force, as part of its review and update of best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, to also take into consideration the practice of co-prescribing the overdose reversal drug naloxone.
  12. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)—The amendment directs directs the Task Force to consider, in the course of developing best practices, Federal agency programs and research relative to substance use and substance use disorders among adolescents and young adults, as well as any gaps identified by Federal government programs or researchers in the prevention of, treatment for, and recovery from substance use by and substance use disorders among adolescents and young adults.
  13. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT)—The amendment requires the inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, specifically as it pertains to physician education and consumer education.
  14. Rep. Pete Welch (D-VT)—The amendment expands the task force report to include information and recommendations on developing new non-opioid forms of pain relief.
  15. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)—The amendment ensures the task force takes into consideration existing private sector, State, and local government efforts related to pain management and prescribing pain medication.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Molly Newell with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 21374.