As the prescription drug abuse crisis in America has grown far worse over the last decade, for over two years Representatives Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) and Tom Marino (PA-10) have championed the effort to convince the DEA and other regulators that collaboration and dialogue with stakeholders in the prescription medication supply chain will only lead to better results in the effort to prevent deaths and other tragic outcomes that result from this epidemic.
"Opioid addiction is a complex and incredibly challenging societal problem that will not be successfully addressed through simple solutions that fail to address demand and fail to promote cooperation between law enforcement, the medical establishment and legitimate well-intentioned stakeholders in the supply chain.It is only when we acknowledge the complexity of the challenge and work together that our strategy to combat this tragic epidemic will be at its best," Marino stated.
"We are all in this together," added Blackburn. "While I commend Attorney General Holder for acknowledging the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, there needs to be a more clear distinction between the legitimate pharmaceutical supply chain that directly serves patients and the criminals who are diverting and selling illegal drugs. The supply chain stakeholders the Attorney General references in his statement need further guidance on how to collaborate more effectively with law enforcement. I believe these stakeholders -- those physicians, pharmacies, to distributors who want to do the right thing -- stand ready to work with law enforcement in combating prescription drug abuse. I look forward to pursuing this issue this year with my colleagues in Congress," Blackburn concluded.
Earlier this year Representatives Marino and Blackburn introduced H.R. 4069, the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014, to help prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion and ensure patient access to necessary medications by creating a more collaborative partnership between drug manufacturers, wholesalers, retail pharmacies and federal enforcement and oversight agencies.