The U.S. Senate passed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which is a combination of the House and Senate opioid packages. This bill includes Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) Access to Increased Drug Disposal (AIDD) Act and the Education Disposal of Unused (EDU) Opioid Act.
“Congress has tackled the ongoing opioid epidemic head-on. As a result of this legislation we will see easier access to treatment and increased flexibility for our communities. I am especially glad to see my AIDD Act and EDU Act included as well as continued funding of state targeted response grants, allowing Iowa to enhance their treatment and prevention efforts. I urge the President to swiftly make this legislation law,” said Senator Ernst.
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act reauthorizes 21st Century Cures Act opioid grants. The Iowa Department of Public Health was awarded funding through these grants to build an enhanced, statewide infrastructure to address opioid misuse and increase awareness through statewide prevention efforts and the use of medication assisted treatment.
As mentioned, this package includes two of Senator Ernst’s bills,
- The bipartisan AIDD Act, which will increase participation in federal prescription drug take-back programs to help combat prescription drug abuse; and,
- The EDU Act, which requires Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plans to provide information on the safe disposal of prescription drugs.
The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act will clamp down on illicit opioid shipments, increase funding for research of non-opioid pain treatments and encourage the development of non-opioid, non-addictive products. It reforms Medicare and Medicaid treatment and recovery support services for beneficiaries with substance abuse problems, and also increases funding for National Institutes of Health and access to addiction treatment medications.