WASHINGTON — Nat Wienecke, senior vice president, federal government relations at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) issued the following statement applauding the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions markup of S.2680, the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. The legislation passed by a unanimous vote of 23-0.
“PCI applauds the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions for their strong bipartisan support of this important legislation to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.
“The abuse of prescription painkillers is a serious public health and safety issue. The United States is suffering from an epidemic of accidental deaths and addiction resulting from the increased sale and use of powerful narcotic painkillers.”
“Opioid abuse is also having a significant impact on state’s workers compensation systems. This bill will put in place necessary steps to prevent harmful addictions, as the over prescribing of opioids and other drugs can hamper an injured employee’s ability to fully recover and quickly return to work.
“PCI strongly supports several provisions in the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, particularly the use of evidence-based treatment and prevention activities, including limits on overprescribing, improved training for providers to better identify and treat chronic pain, and the interstate sharing of PDMP data.
“PCI encourages the Senate to take up and pass this bill to protect consumers.”
The CDC estimates that over 115 people die each day after an opioid overdose and reports an “economic burden” of $78.5 million resulting from prescription opioid misuse when factoring in the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice.