ACS CAN Encouraged by Balanced Approach in Proposed Opioid Legislation

April 11, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) held a hearing on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. Included in the proposal are several promising provisions that aim to address addiction while maintaining access to necessary relief for individuals fighting pain from cancer and other serious illnesses.  

Specifically, ACS CAN supports measures that would empower the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to focus on the development and approval of new, non-addictive pain treatments as well as requirements for manufacturers to provide patients with safe disposal options for unused drugs.

A statement from Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, follows:

“ACS CAN recognizes and continues to express concern about the public health crisis that has resulted from the misuse and abuse of opioids in this country. As Congress searches for solutions to address the opioid epidemic, ACS CAN will continue to urge lawmakers to work toward a balanced approach that will not preclude cancer patients and survivors from accessing the pain care they need.

“The proposal considered today includes several provisions that would strike that important balance of reining in abuse, while maintaining patient access to medications  for patients and survivors who suffer from  pain and other symptoms due to disease and side effects from treatment. Of particular promise is a provision that would increase critical resources for researchers to develop new, non-addictive pain treatments and accelerate efforts that bring those treatments to market in a timely fashion.

“We urge lawmakers to support these research efforts to help ensure those currently living with cancer and those recovering from cancer treatment have uninterrupted access to appropriate and evidence-based pain care.

“ACS CAN commends senators for this important step toward finding a critical balance and is committed to working with members of Congress to make balanced pain care legislation a reality.”

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