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Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Chairman Brady for his leadership on this.
I have done a lot of work over the past several months, as I know we all have, of listening to my constituents in suburban Chicago, and here is what I have heard: They want us to take a multifaceted approach.
One of the things that I am doing this morning is highlighting a portion of this bill that Mr. Brady mentioned in his opening statement, and that is a lock-in phenomenon.
Here is the story: The power of this molecule, when it gets into our bodies, is breathtaking and is sobering. Here is one statistic that should make us shudder: One-third of part D Medicare beneficiaries were prescribed an opioid in 2016--one-third of Medicare part D beneficiaries were prescribed an opioid in 2016. There is nothing good that is going on with that.
So here is what we are trying to do: We are saying that we need to resist pharmacy shopping. We need to resist doctor shopping. And we need to make sure that people can be identified who have a predisposition towards this addiction.
So what this bill does--what part of this bill does--is it says: Medicare part D programs don't just have the option of requiring a lock-in program, we are now locking in on lock-in. We are saying: You have got to do this.
Unambiguously, it is a mandate, it is a good mandate, and it is something that has been a long time coming. TRICARE uses this, and a number of other distribution systems use it, but the time is ripe and we have absolutely got to get this done. It is part of a holistic approach that I think is really welcome.
Mr. Chairman, I congratulate and thank Mr. Levin, the ranking member; Mr. Bilirakis; and Mr. Lujan, also who similarly worked on this legislation. I am confident that in 10 years' time, our country, based on the work that this House is doing now, is going to reflect back, and it is going to say: America responded. We did it on a bipartisan basis. And we are going to be having a better and different conversation.
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