Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today released the following statement after the Administration released a new plan to address the nation's rapidly growing prescription drug abuse epidemic:
"Tens of thousands of people are dying every year from prescription drug overdoses and abuse, yet we have failed to take the necessary steps to combat the fastest growing drug problem facing the American people. This is unacceptable and we must do better. I will continue to demand that the DEA and FDA take action to reduce the amount of Oxycontin and all other Oxycodone prescription drugs that are available on the street; and I will not stop until the millions of vulnerable people, especially our youth, are protected from this grave and growing danger."
Bono Mack, the Chairman of the subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, convened a hearing last week taking aim at the rapidly growing problem of prescription drug diversion. ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske, and DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart testified at the hearing, along with Gov. Rick Scott (FL) and Gov. Steve Beshear (KY), and victims, family members and substance abuse experts, which closely examined federal oversight failings.
Bono Mack has introduced bipartisan legislation that addresses this growing problem. The Stop Oxy Abuse Act of 2011 (H.R. 1316) would revise U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifications to ensure that these drugs are prescribed only for their intended use, severe pain.