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Faso's bill on Medicare drug safety included in opioids package

Sep 19, 2018 6:15 am
Dan Freedman is reporting for the Times Union a massive bipartisan opioids bill working its way through Congress includes a measure on Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage written by U.S. Rep. John Faso. Faso's bill, the Medicare Opioid Safety Education Act of 2018, would require the Department of Health and Human Services to include warnings about opioids and alternative options for pain relief in the online introduction to Medicare that seniors view when signing up. Faso said his proposal is intended to help seniors to understand the threat they face when doctors prescribe opioids for pain relief. Faso said he was “shocked” to hear that 30 percent of prescriptions written under Medicare Part D were for opioids. “That’s a big number,” he said. “The potential for abuse is not just among the young and middle aged, but the elderly as well.” The Opioid Crisis Response Act, passed the Senate September 17, on a vote of 99 to 1. The measure must be voted on again by the House before it is signed into law. That vote could come next week, Faso said. The drug-addiction crisis took 72,000 lives nationwide in 2017, 12 percent more than in 2016. Opioid addiction takes the lives of 115 people a day, according to one estimate. New York ranks 22nd nationwide in opioid overdose deaths with a rate of 15.1 per 100,000 population, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Read the full story in the Times Union.