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 MarkeyHillicon Valley: Investigation finds federal agencies failed to address cyber vulnerabilities | Officials crack down on illegal robocallers | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Senators grill Google exec on 'persuasive technology' YouTube critics urge FTC to crack down on handling of children's videos Senate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions MORE (D-Mass.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiPressure builds to secure health care data Trump plan to strip public land conservation fund gets bipartisan pushback GOP lawmakers want Mulvaney sidelined in budget talks MORE (R-Alaska) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanSecond ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Key endorsements: A who's who in early states Overnight Health Care: Poll finds most Americans misunderstand scope of 'Medicare for All' | Planned Parenthood chief readies for 2020 | Drugmakers' lawsuit ramps up fight with Trump 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.