Opioid bill awaits president’s signature

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Legislation intended to combat the opioid epidemic has passed Congress and is awaiting the president’s signature to become law.

The bipartisan Opioid Crisis Response Act was approved by both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives last month.

The final legislation included provisions introduced by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace, who visited Port Angeles in March to learn how the opioid epidemic affects Port Angeles.

Cantwell and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., introduced a bill in February to hold drug makers accountable for false advertising and negligent distribution practices that have fueled the opioid epidemic.

Many of the provisions in that bill were included in the Opioid Crisis Response Act.

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, said on Twitter that “Congress took a good step forward, but there’s more to do. It should also fund more mental health beds and make treatment more accessible, especially in rural areas.”

The bill cracks down on illegal drug distribution by increasing civil penalties on manufacturers and distributors of opioids that fail to report suspicious orders for opioids or fail to maintain effective controls against diversion of opioids from $10,000 to $100,000. It also increases criminal penalties for failing to maintain effective controls against diversion of opioids from $250,000 to $500,000.

The legislation also would increase funding and resources for opioid treatment.

It provides permanent authority for physicians to provide medication-assisted treatment for up to 275 patients, expands the ability to use telehealth services to treat opioid use disorder and authorized $75 million for the Drug Court Program.

It also supports new research and treatment alternatives.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

More in News

PHOTO: Time for Peninsula pumpkins

Eight-year-old Lacie Schmitt gets help from her father, Isaac Schmitt of Port… Continue reading

Short delays to be expected around Lake Crescent

Guardrail installation, ditch cleaning and striping of fog… Continue reading

Annual Harvest of Hope reaps $115,000 for Olympic Medical Center expansion

The Olympic Medical Center Foundation raised $115,000 at its 16th… Continue reading

Property tax payment deadline looms

The second half of the year’s property tax payments are due Oct.… Continue reading

EYE ON CLALLAM: County commissioners to consider Dungeness River off-channel reservoir

Clallam County commissioners will discuss a resolution supporting a proposed Dungeness River… Continue reading

Most Read