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Rep. Zeldin’s Amendment to Opioid Bill Passes the House

May 11, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, introduced an amendment to legislation, H.R. 4641, which passed the House today with unanimous bipartisan support.

H.R. 4641 would improve the guidelines for prescribing opioids and pain medication by creating a federal inter-agency and stakeholder task force that would review, modify and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication. The task force will consist of representatives from various federal agencies, state medical boards, physicians, dentists, non-physician prescribers, hospitals, pharmacists, pharmacies, experts in the fields of pain research and addiction research, representatives of pain management professional organizations, mental health treatment community, addiction treatment and recovery community, pain advocacy groups and groups with expertise on overdose reversal, a person in recovery from addiction to medication for chronic pain and a person with chronic pain.

Congressman Zeldin’s amendment, which both Congressman Zeldin and Congressman Moulton (D, MA-6) are co-leading, passed unanimously with bipartisan support, and added language to the bill to ensure that veterans’ service organizations will be part of that task force.

Congressman Zeldin said, “There are many legitimate reasons and needs for some people to be treated with pain medication, one group being our veterans who return home suffering from the wounds of war. Appropriately prescribed pain medication can provide significant relief for those who are suffering, greatly improving their quality of life. However, many of these medications are highly addictive and can pose a serious risk. Through my amendment, we can ensure that veteran service organizations, which are so active in the veteran community, are also involved in the discussions to improve the guidelines for prescribing opioids and pain medication to ensure that all parties involved in the pain medication process, from prescribers and pharmacists, to the patient who is taking the medication, have access to the most up-to-date information on pain management so that we can prevent lawful prescription use from becoming addictive.”

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