Casey urges Congress to prevent prescription drug abuse

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said Tuesday that he hopes Congress would pass legislation aiming to reduce prescription drug abuse.

“It’s critical that Congress puts in place a commonsense approach to help families and law enforcement,” Casey said. “Combating the rise in heroin and prescription drug abuse will require all stakeholders to work together in a collaborative effort.”

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Casey called for the immediate passage of S. 1657, the Increasing the Safety of Prescription Drug Use Act, introduced by Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

That bill would establish Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs to allow doctors and pharmacists to check a national database to see the last time someone had an opioid prescription, train prescribers how to detect cases of drug abuse, and require a Government Accountability Office study for Congress on prescription drug abuse programs and policies in federal government.

“Addiction is a truly terrible disease,” Casey said. “I’m hopeful that Congress will take steps this year to confront this challenge.”

Casey said action was needed to address the “heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis” in his state and around the country.