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A key House committee will hold the last of three major hearings to address the opioid crisis on April 11, and hopes to bring a legislative package to the floor before the House breaks for Memorial Day on May 24, according to GOP aides on Capitol Hill.

The third hearing of the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee will focus on insurance coverage, payment issues, and prescription regulations for Medicaid beneficiaries. An initial session focused on enforcement issues and a second discussed public health, treatment, and prevention strategies.

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  • Useless. Utterly useless.

    The vast majority of opioid-related deaths arise from the use of illicit drugs and illictly-obtained prescription drugs.

    Very few people die from misuse of their own prescriptions. Placing arbitrary restrictions on the entire population of people who are prescribed opioids will do nothing to reduce deaths.

    Even if these measures do reduce diversion, consider that diverted prescription medications, although still dangerous, are still far safer than illicit drugs–which are increasingly contaminated with fentanyl.

    Reducing supply does nothing to reduce demand. Obviously.

  • They should really talk to some intractable and chronic pain patients, including our Veterans, who have been forced by policy changes to receive less or no opioids for their pain.

    Unfortunately, they can’t talk to the thousands that have already committed suicide because they could not stand the pain they were in. Most of those deaths are currently made up of Vets, but the civilians are going to catch up quickly if forced off of their medications.

    We are more than willing to speak to them; we just need the chance.

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