The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), will hold a hearing on Thursday, April 14, 2011, at 8:00 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled, "Warning: The Growing Danger of Prescription Drug Diversion."
Among those testifying will be DEA Administator Michele Leonhart, ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.
"Today, the widespread abuse of prescription drugs -- especially painkillers, stimulants and depressants -- is the fastest-growing drug problem in America. Some 30,000 people are expected to die this year from overdoses and related complications," said Chairman Bono Mack. "As someone who has been deeply and personally effected by this issue, I hope Thursday's hearing will lead to a better understanding of the enormous scope of this problem as well as the staggering costs -- both emotionally and financially -- that it imposes on families and communities. Clearly, as a nation, there needs to be a greater "sense of urgency' in addressing this rapidly escalating problem."
Prescription drug abuse is an increasing threat to families across America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the death rate from drug overdoses has increased fivefold in the past twenty years and is the second leading cause of accidental deaths in the United States behind motor vehicle crash fatalities, accounting for over 29,000 deaths in 2007.
Witnesses will include federal regulators, state governors, family members of victims of prescription drug abuse, the pharmaceutical industry, health professionals, and other stakeholders.