Friday, December 19, 2014

Keep Up Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse, Senators Urge
December 18th, 2014/

A group of senators working to reduce the toll of prescription drug abuse sent letters to government officials and health groups this week, urging them to continue fighting what they called a national epidemic.

The bipartisan group of senators who wrote the letters are members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, The Hill reports. The senators called for increased public education on the issue, as well as training of law enforcement officials.

“With our shared goal of preventing and reducing prescription drug abuse in this country — a crisis that demands continued action, we expect that your activities in this area will continue, and we stand ready to assist you,” the senators wrote.

The senators wrote to officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Governors Association, the National Association of City and County Health Officials and other health advocacy groups.

They noted prescription drug overdose death rates have more than tripled in the United States since 1990.

In a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the senators encouraged her agency to continue evaluating prescription drug monitoring programs, which they called “an important tool in preventing and detecting abuse.” They also asked HHS to provide additional guidance on the standards to achieve labeling of abuse-deterrent formulation drugs.

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