House passes bill aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse

The House on Tuesday passed legislation by voice vote to establish enforcement standards for prescription drug abuse.

Specifically, the measure would amend the Controlled Substances Act to modify the definition of "imminent danger to the public health or safety" so that it applies to drugs that pose present or foreseeable health risks.

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The bill would also allow prescription drug companies registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to submit a "corrective action plan" before a drug is suspended.

Members of both parties said the legislation would help combat abuse of prescription drugs.

"By approving this legislation, we will be giving our nation's law enforcement additional tools while protecting our patients and securing our drug supply chain in a reasonable and common-sense way," said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.).

Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), the bill's sponsor, said it would not hinder law-abiding companies.

"Any legitimate business involved in distributing or dispensing prescriptions welcomes appropriate oversight and regulation," Marino said.

The legislation would also require the Department of Health and Human Services to provide Congress with a report on the collaboration between enforcement agencies.

Democrats agreed that it would strengthen the prescription drug supply chain and federal enforcement of drug laws.

"This bill would help prevent prescription drug abuse, establish clear and consist enforcement stands, and ensure patients have access to needed medications," said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.).

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