On Friday, March 15, 2013, Reps. Bill Keating (D-MA) and Hal Rogers (R-KY) will be announcing federal legislation addressing abuse-deterrent formulations for commonly abused painkillers. The Stop the Tampering of Prescription Pills (STOPP) Act was written by Rep. Keating, who then reached out to Rep. Rogers, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, to partner with on the initiative. Rep. Rogers is a co-founder of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, of which Rep. Keating is a member.
Rep. Keating originally introduced the STOPP Act, first-of-its kind legislation to address prescription drug abuse, in July of 2012 and Rep. Rogers was an original cosponsor.
Said Reps. Keating and Rogers:
"Prescription drug abuse does not discriminate by region, socioeconomic status, or age. It is affecting families across the country at an alarmingly rapid rate, and Members of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse are united in their determination to slow the rising tide of medicine abuse. A critical piece in preventing painkiller abuse is the development of abuse-deterrent formulas for opiates that make it more difficult for abusers to crush, snort or inject drugs for illicit purposes.
"Unfortunately, earlier this year, the FDA approved the first generic drug to re-enter the American market without abuse-deterrent technology -- a dangerous precedent. Allowing the generic formulations of abuse-deterrent drugs to enter the market without the same preventative mechanism will only lead to cheaper, more easily available pills to abuse. We hope that FDA and Congress will heed our call and make sure that all painkillers employ abuse-deterrent technologies. With another generic application looming before the FDA in April, these mechanisms will help prevent overdoses and decrease the illegal use of prescription painkillers, as well as spur innovation and the future development of these promising abuse-deterrent technologies. "
Reps. Keating and Rogers will be joined by other colleagues in the House as well as representatives from drug abuse prevention organizations. At the press conference, the Members will have a demonstration showing the difference between pills that employ abuse deterrent technologies and those that don't.
Detailed information on the legislation will be available at the press conference. Please email Lauren Amendolara at firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan on attending.