Raja Proposes National Opioid Safety Fund and Database; Plugs Holes in Bill Recently Passed by Congress
Raja Proposes National Opioid Safety Fund and Database Plugs Holes in Bill Recently Passed by Congress
CHICAGO, IL — Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Schaumburg) today unveiled legislation he will introduce in Congress to plug “gaping holes” in an anti-opioid bill it passed last month.
Krishnamoorthi, the Democratic nominee in the 8th Congressional District that includes west and northwest Chicago suburbs, said his proposal “would provide a secure and stable funding source for the $1.1 billion President Obama has requested to fight opioid abuse.” He noted that the bill passed by Congress before its current summer recess contained no money for anti-opioid efforts.
Raja’s proposal would also create a national Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by turning the existing state-by-state efforts into an interactive, nationwide network. “This will help end the practice of patients going to multiple doctors for opioid prescriptions, which they can then abuse or sell,” Krishnamoorthi said.
“There is no question but that we are in the midst of an opioid epidemic,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who joined Krishnamoorthi at the downtown offices of the Health and Policy Research Group. “It is a national crisis, and we are certainly feeling its impact here in Cook County.”
“I am grateful that Raja is elevating this important issue – and especially grateful that he has thought through reasoned and meaningful proposals to help confront this epidemic,” Preckwinkle said.
Krishnamoorthi and Preckwinkle were joined at the press conference by Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, a physician at Rush University Medical Center and a national leader in addressing the opioid epidemic, and Margie Schaps, Executive Director of the Health & Medicine Policy Research Group.
“All of us here today believe that the national opioid epidemic demands a strong, national response, but Congress’s latest effort falls short,” Raja said.
“Our state and local governments need a full partner in their struggles to deal with this growing crisis, including the resources to end multiple prescriptions and provide the effective addiction treatment that people need,” he said.