Senators introduce bill to measure progress in opioid fight

Senators introduce bill to measure progress in opioid fight
© Getty Images

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 MarkeyOvernight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings NBA's Enes Kanter speaks out against Erdoğan ahead of White House visit Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid MORE (D-Mass.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGoogle sparks new privacy fears over health care data This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry GOP senators plan to tune out impeachment week MORE (R-Alaska) and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanHillicon Valley: Facebook launches 'News Tab' | Senate passes bill to take on 'deepfakes' | Schumer outlines vision for electric cars Senate passes legislation to combat 'deepfake' videos Hillicon Valley: Senators seek national security review of TikTok | TikTok denies claims of Chinese government influence | CNN chief rips Facebook policy on political ads | Dem questions DHS' handling of personal data 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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.