Hudson Statement on CDC Report that Fentanyl is America's Deadliest Drug

December 12, 2018
Hudson Statement on CDC Report that Fentanyl is America’s Deadliest Drug
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), a leader in efforts to combat the opioid crisis, released the following statement on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) report that fentanyl has become the deadliest drug in the United States:
“We’ve taken significant federal action to combat fentanyl – including cutting off foreign shipments and giving our local communities the resources they need to get these deadly drugs off our streets,” said Rep. Hudson. “This report is a heartbreaking reminder that our work is not done.”
As a leader on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the panel tasked with writing most of the nation’s health care laws, 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.
On October 24, at the White House for a landmark bill signing, President Donald Trump thanked Rep. Hudson for his leadership in efforts to combat the opioid crisis. President Trump signed H.R. 6, a comprehensive package of bipartisan legislation which included three of Rep. Hudson’s bipartisan bills that focus on the safe and responsible packaging and disposal of unused opioids, including one that is hailed as one of “the most important opioid bills.” 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 bill signing.
In October, he joined “Opioids: Hidden Dangers, New Hope,” a new podcast series that provides a 360-degree view of the opioid epidemic, to discuss Congressional efforts to help our communities fight this deadly crisis. He has hosted several roundtables across the eighth district to meet with local leaders, local officials, law enforcement, health care professionals and members of our community fighting addiction and talk about ways to improve public health response efforts.
Rep. Hudson 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. He has welcomed the president’s proposal and efforts to combat the opioid crisis and pledged to continue working with the administration, colleagues and state and local officials.
Rep. Hudson’s disposal legislation is critical as, according to the Journal of American Medical Association, less than 10 percent of patients dispose of their opioids properly and 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids. His SOUND Disposal and Packaging Act is a bipartisan bill he introduced with Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC) that would encourage and promote improved packaging and disposal methods with respect to opioids. It has been applauded as one of “the most important opioid bills in the House” and legislation that “could make a more serious difference.” To learn more about this important legislation, click here. To see Rep. Hudson’s floor speech in support of this bill, click here.
In March during a two-day Health Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Combating the Opioid Crisis: Prevention and Public Health Solutions,” the Subcommittee discussed his bill and 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 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 addition, 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.”
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) is a comprehensive package of legislation and is a product of months of bipartisan work to find solutions that will help in overall efforts to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and bolster our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. For a summary on this legislation, click here.
Last Congress, Rep. Hudson helped the committee lead two major initiatives that were signed into law that provided critical resources for combating the crisis: the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act. In addition, $4 billion was appropriated in the omnibus earlier this year to help combat the opioid crisis. Taken together, this is the most significant federal effort against a single drug crisis in history. These efforts are supported by more than 160 patient advocacy groups.
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