Grassley responds to opioid abuse initiative

OpioidsFrom Press Release


U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Caucus on International Narcotics Control, today made the following comment on the new initiative from Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell on opioid abuse:

The agency’s approach shares some of the best practices that have come forward to fight opioid abuse.  It makes sense to share best practices in just about any field, and that’s especially true when lives are at stake.  Too many people cross over from using an opioid for legitimate medical need to abuse.  The best practices cover over-prescribing in the first place.  We know from prescription-drug take-back events that literally tons of medicines sit in medicine cabinets, where they can be abused.  A single take-back event in Iowa last year collected 8,840 pounds of unused medicine, likely including opioids.  With all of the prescription drugs in medicine cabinets and the tragic consequences of abuse, I appreciate Secretary Burwell’s focus.  I generally prefer avoiding new spending, so I hope the agency will get the most bang for the buck here and look for ways to fight opioid dependence without spending more money wherever possible.