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Reps. Blackburn, Marino, Chu, and Welch Applaud Senate Introduction of Legislation to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Representatives Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Tom Marino (R-PA), Judy Chu (D-CA), and Peter Welch (D-VT) issued the following statement applauding Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for introducing S. 2862, the Regulatory Transparency, Patient Access, and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2014.

S. 2862 is the companion bill to H.R. 4709, the Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which unanimously passed the House in July 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.

"I am pleased to see Senators Hatch and Whitehouse following our lead in this effort to combat prescription drug abuse,"Blackburn said. "This legislation will help facilitate greater collaboration between industry stakeholders and regulators in our nation's effort to combat prescription drug abuse, while also ensuring that patients who need medication are able to receive it. This bipartisan, bicameral effort will ensure the law is crystal clear for both DEA and legitimate businesses who want to understand what the rules are so they can do the right thing. It is our hope that the Senate will act quickly on this legislation to ensure the prescription drug supply chain is safe and secure for the patients that truly rely upon it to alleviate pain and treat illnesses."

"I am proud that the work we started in the House is now being continued in the Senate,"Marino said."We worked together across the aisle to pass a meaningful bill to help combat prescription drug abuse and ensure that patients suffering with diseases like cancer are able to access necessary medications.I am glad that our model is being followed in the Senate and that another bipartisan bill has been introduced to address the problem.I am looking forward to working with Senators Hatch and Whitehouse to make sure this measure reaches the President's desk in the near future."

"For the millions of Americans suffering through pain and disease, prescription drugs are an important part of improving quality of life,"said Chu. "Last month, the House passed a bipartisan bill that will help our pharmacists do their jobs safely and without disruption, which will ensure that legitimate patients can access pain medications. I am glad to see the Senate is taking up this up as well. I hope to see it passed and sent to the President's desk."

"The House has worked together to pass bipartisan legislation to address the nationwide problem of prescription drug abuse, and I'm pleased that the Senate is now picking up the mantle,"said Welch. "Pain killers are falling into the wrong hands while delivery of these same drugs is being stalled to the patients that need them, including seniors and those battling cancer. To fix this problem, drug suppliers and federal officials need to be able to work hand-in-hand to improve our drug delivery system and that's exactly what this legislation does."

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