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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

Advocates Provide Input, Send Letters to Opioid Conferees

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As members of the House and Senate begin meeting to hammer out differences in their respective opioid bills, advocates are stepping up to have their voices heard. Over the last few weeks, the National Council has joined a chorus of patient protection and advocacy organizations in sending letters of thanks, guidance and request to members of the opioid conference. These letters are just the latest in a series of advocacy efforts to ensure the passage of a comprehensive, effective and well-funded opioid package.

The letters include:

  • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs: In a letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), a group of national advocacy organizations – including the National Council – requested the inclusion of specific provisions to bolster grant funding for PDMPs. The letter highlights the need and effectiveness of PDMPs when used and operated properly. It also adds specific recommendations on how best to alter the program to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. Read the letter in full here.
  • Requests for Inclusion, Funding: In a letter to all members of the opioid conference, a group of national advocacy organizations – again, including the National Council – offered a list of specific provisions for inclusion in the final opioid bill. The House and Senate are working to find a compromise on one Senate-passed measure and 18 House-passed measures. The letter also made the broad request of conferees to provide full funding of a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic. Read the letter in full here.

The National Council will continue to monitor progress of the opioid conference and report news back to its members in Capitol Connector.