Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after the House passed the final version of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R.6). This legislation will help in our overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities, and bolstering our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. Language the Congresswoman helped introduce, the Protecting Seniors from Opioid Abuse Act of 2018 (H.R. 5684), was included in this legislation. H.R. 6 is the most significant congressional effort against a single drug crisis in history, and will soon head to the president’s desk for signature.
“Today is about real solutions and hope — hope for recovery, and hope for an end to this crisis that is wreaking havoc in our communities. Across Eastern Washington, I’ve met and listened to local leaders and providers who are fighting this battle every single day. They’ve told that they need more resources and help to end the dangerous cycle of addiction for people of all ages, including seniors. The provision I worked on will expand access to the Medication Therapy Management services for Medicare beneficiaries who are at-risk for prescription drug abuse. It will allow them to receive expert advice on how to manage their prescriptions and reduce their risk of addiction and abuse.
“Republicans made a promise to the American people that they would prioritize safer communities, and the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act is another way that we are delivering. It builds on the dozens of bills passed in the House to focus on treatment and recovery, prevention, protecting our communities, and fighting fentanyl. I thank the Senate for working with us to get this bill across the finish line.”
NOTE: Medicare currently offers Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs for beneficiaries with complex health needs. A pharmacist or other health professional will give beneficiaries a comprehensive review of all their medications and talk them through how their medications work, what side effects may occur, if there might be interactions between drugs, and other problems that may occur. This counseling can help reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse through comprehensive medication review, targeted medication review, and interventions with their prescribers.