Press Releases

Bipartisan Group of Doctors Re-Introduce Resolution Encouraging Education on Opioid Prescribing

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Washington, January 30, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN), Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD) and Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA) released the following statements after re- introducing H.Con.Res.8, a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that all medical professionals should receive proper training on pain management and opioid prescribing:

“The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimated there were over 72,000 overdose deaths in 2017, with current estimates at over 130 opioid-related deaths per day in 2018,” said Roe. “For too long, pain was regarded as a fifth vital sign that should be treated aggressively – often with opioids. While opioids certainly have a medical use, they are highly addictive and can quickly lead to abuse, even when properly prescribed. Our resolution highlights the unique role medical education plays in helping our country deal with this crisis. It also urges our nation’s medical educators to continue updating the initial training and the continuing medical education providers receive, so that practitioners and future generations of medical professionals can more appropriately address pain management and opioid prescribing based on the best medical evidence available. Our nation’s health education institutions have already taken much-needed steps, and I hope even more can be done to ensure we put an end to preventable opioid-related deaths.”

“Pain management is a complex, multifaceted skill that needs to be honed and refined just like any other aspect of a physician’s medical education. I am proud to co-lead this bill with my fellow physicians in Congress to encourage all providers to take pain management training seriously and regularly, and to go above and beyond the call of duty to help their patients who may be susceptible to opioid misuse,” said Ruiz.

“As both a physician and a Member of Congress, I believe we must combat this epidemic from every angle possible-- it’s critical that medical professionals receive proper training on drug prescription and pain management,” said Harris. “The physician community is taking large steps to end the epidemic and encourage responsible prescriptions, and these efforts are critical to saving thousands of lives from fatal opioid abuse.”

“Thousands of families across the country have been impacted by opioids,” said Bera. “As doctors in Congress, we have a unique ability to help and ensure providers receive dedicated training on addiction, pain management, and recommendations for prescribing. Doctors at all stages of their career should be prepared and ready to address this crisis. I am proud to work with doctors in both parties to bring attention to this issue.”

Note: Identical legislation, H.Con.Res.136, was introduced in the 115th Congress by Reps. Roe, Ruiz, Harris and Bera on September 13, 2018.


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