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Vote on Senate opioid package expected this week



September 17, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Drug Prescribing/Dispensing Advocacy 

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week a bipartisan package of over 70 proposals intended to help combat the nation’s opioid crisis. Known as the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, the package includes legislation intended to reduce opioid use, encourage recovery, support caregivers and families, and drive innovation and long-term solutions.

The California Medical Association (CMA) is working with AMA and our other partners to resolve several outstanding issues, such as the mandate to e-prescribe opioids, despite the difficult DEA process. We have, however, successfully stopped all proposals that interfere with the practice of medicine, including opioid prescription duration and dosage limits. 

This bill is expected to easily pass the Senate and will then head to a House-Senate conference committee where lawmakers will need to resolve the many significant differences between the Senate opioid package and that passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this summer. The conference committee is not expected to complete their work until after the midterm elections.

The issue of opioid-related misuse, abuse and overdose remains a major policy issue at the federal, state and regional levels. CMA will continue to advocate to increase access and availability of medication-assisted treatment, opioid use disorder treatment programs, and non-opioid therapies, including mental health services and fight proposals that interfere with the practice of medicine and create barriers to care. CMA would also like to see more funding dedicated to prevention and treatment programs.

Click here for a summary of the Senate opioid package.

Safe Prescribing Resources

CMA supports a well-balanced approach to opioid prescribing and treatment that considers the unique needs of individual patients. CMA’s safe prescribing resource page includes the most current information and resources on prescribing controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose. There you will find:

  • CMA’s white papers on prescribing opioids
  • Links to relevant documents in CMA’s health law library
  • Continuing medical education courses and webinars
  • Current information on the state's prescription drug monitoring database
  • Resources on prescribing controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose

Join CMA Today!

CMA offers leadership opportunities, discounts, education and more! Explore why over 43,000 California physicians have joined CMA to advocate for patients, the medical profession and the future of health care.

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