Senators introduce bill to measure progress in opioid fight

Senators introduce bill to measure progress in opioid fight
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Three senators are introducing a bill to measure the federal government’s progress in ending the opioid epidemic, as the White House and Congress are grappling with how to solve a crisis contributing to thousands of deaths per year.

Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyMarkey fundraises ahead of Kennedy primary challenge The Hill's Campaign Report: De Blasio drops out | Warren gains support from black voters | Sanders retools campaign team | Warning signs for Tillis in NC Sanders defends job losses from ending use of fossil fuels MORE (D-Mass.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week Bipartisan group of senators urges FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately Sinema touts bipartisan record as Arizona Democrats plan censure vote MORE (R-Alaska) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanDemocrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Overnight Health Care: Juul's lobbying efforts fall short as Trump moves to ban flavored e-cigarettes | Facebook removes fact check from anti-abortion video after criticism | Poll: Most Democrats want presidential candidate who would build on ObamaCare Lawmakers weigh responses to rash of ransomware attacks MORE (D-N.H.) said it’s important to create national indicators to determine what efforts to solve the opioid crisis have worked, and what hasn’t.

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“We need to know whether our policies and resources are being used in ways that have a measurable impact on the public’s health,” Markey said in a press release. “If we don’t have a dashboard to clearly and quantifiably show our progress on this epidemic, we will continue to fight the same battle over and over again.”

The bill requires federal agencies to craft ways to measure the effectiveness of efforts to tackle the opioid epidemic within 180 days, with the goal of “significantly reversing” opioid misuse and opioid-related deaths within five years.

Solving the opioid crisis is an immense public health challenge. The White House has released a three-pronged approach on how to curb the uptick in opioid overdose deaths.

On Capitol Hill, committees and groups of lawmakers in both chambers are working to hammer out legislation aimed at tackling the crisis. An effort from the House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to be on the chamber’s floor in June.