The House Energy and Commerce Committee today held a hearing on the administration’s progress in carrying out provisions of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act, enacted last year to address the opioid epidemic. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized the Drug Enforcement Administration for delays in responding to committee inquiries about the agency’s enforcement of alleged “pill dumping” by manufacturers. Members also questioned federal agency heads about the higher cost of easily administered forms of opioid overdose reversal medicine, the percentage of addiction cases that are due to legally prescribed versus illegal drugs, and whether Congress should enact stronger criminal penalties for overprescribing of opioids. In a statement submitted to the committee, AHA recommended several federal actions to address the opioid crisis, including eliminating the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Disease exclusion for adults under age 65.

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