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Hudson Highlights Local Company, Safe Disposal in Fight Against Opioid Crisis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2018  
 
Hudson Highlights Local Company, Safe Disposal in Fight Against Opioid Crisis
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), a leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee, continued his efforts to find legislative solutions that help combat the opioid crisis. During a two-day Health Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Combating the Opioid Crisis: Prevention and Public Health Solutions,” Rep. Hudson questioned witnesses, including Dr. John Holaday, Chairman and CEO of DisposeRx, the country’s leading site-of-use medication disposal company which is located in Southern Pines, N.C., in Rep. Hudson’s district.
 
Rep. Hudson and Dr. Holaday highlighted the importance of educating patients on the proper use, storage and disposal of opioids and offering convenient disposal methods. In his questions to Dr. Holaday, Rep. Hudson said, “Dr. Holaday, I’m glad to see you here. I’m proud to say that DisposeRx is a company based in my district in North Carolina, and you’re on the frontline helping to fight this epidemic and so I welcome you here today.”  
 
Dr. Holaday replied, “First, I’d like to thank you sir for your leadership and working with the opportunities to prevent drugs in the medicine cabinet from finding their way into abuse, misuse and pollution. We’re a proud North Carolina company in your district.”
 
Rep. Hudson’s full questioning to Dr. Holaday and his responses can be seen here. Dr. Holaday’s testimony as prepared for delivery to the Committee can be read here.
 
Rep. Hudson also questioned Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about the potential of overprescribing and the importance of safe, convenient disposal methods. To watch this questioning, click here.
 
Background
As a leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Hudson continues to be on the front lines of the committee’s work to learn more about how and why the opioid epidemic happened and what legislative solutions can be pursued. He is recognized as the leader on trying to find solutions to help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused opioids by safe, accessible disposal methods.
 
Today and tomorrow in a two-day hearing, the Health Subcommittee is considering more than two dozen bills aimed at boosting public health and prevention efforts, including a bill by Rep. Hudson to direct FDA to work with manufacturers to establish programs for efficient return or destruction of unused Schedule II drugs, with an emphasis on opioids. These methods could include mail-back pouches to secure facilities for incineration, or methods to immediately inactivate/render unattractive unused drugs. In addition, this bill will facilitate utilization of packaging that may reduce overprescribing of opioids. Finally, this bill will require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study new and innovative technologies that claim to be able to safely dispose of opioids and other unused medications. GAO would review and detail the effectiveness of these disposal methods.
 
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden has applauded Rep. Hudson’s idea to study new and innovative technologies that claim to have the capability to safely dispose of opioids and other medications, saying, “Frankly, making it easier to dispose of opioids is just a commonsense idea, and Rep. Richard Hudson is taking opioid disposal another step further. His legislation would require the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study new and innovative technologies that claim to be able to safely dispose of opioids and other unused medications. GAO would review and detail the effectiveness of these disposal methods. This bill would also necessitate the Attorney General to promulgate guidelines for the safe site-of-use in-home disposal of prescription drugs.”
 
On Monday, Rep. Hudson welcomed the president’s proposal to combat the opioid crisis and pledged to continue working with the administration, colleagues and state and local officials to raise awareness and find ways to defeat this opioid epidemic.
 
Last month, Rep. Hudson questioned Susan Gibson, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Diversion Control Division at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and spoke of these ideas to safely dispose of unused opioids. On February 15, 2018, he introduced the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act (H.R. 5041), a bipartisan response to the opioid crisis that will help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused medications by equipping hospice professionals with the legal authority to safely dispose of unused drugs after a hospice patient’s death.
 
Last October, Rep. Hudson shared local stories and highlighted potential legislative solutions, saying, “One idea I’m working on is expanding access to safe ways to dispose of prescription drugs, particularly opioids. DisposeRx is a company in my district that manufactures a powder that mixes with water inside the pill bottle and renders any unused opioids not only inaccessible and inextricable, but also bio-degradable. It’s innovative ideas like this that we need to explore and I look forward to working with colleagues on the Committee to help treat and prevent this opioid addiction.”
 
Because of his critical work and leadership on this issue, Rep. Hudson was the only member of Congress from the North Carolina delegation to attend the White House’s announcement to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency last October.
 
Last Congress, Rep. Hudson helped the committee lead two major initiatives being signed into law that provide critical resources for combating the crisis. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act includes 11 committee bills which ranged from additional resources to combat the epidemic to establishing an inter-agency task force to review, modify and update best practices for pain management and how it is prescribed. In September 2017, HHS released $144.1 million, largely through CARA to help prevent and treat opioid addiction. The21st Century Cures Act provides $1 billion in state grants to be applied to the fight on the front lines. To learn more, click here.
 
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