The leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee last night released a discussion draft of bipartisan legislation to address the opioid crisis, and announced an April 11 hearing on the bill with the goal of marking up legislation this spring. According to a committee summary, the Opioid Crisis Response Act would allow the Food and Drug Administration to require drug makers to package certain opioids for a set duration and provide simple and safe opioid disposal options, and provide support to improve state prescription drug monitoring programs. It also would authorize grants to create comprehensive opioid recovery centers, implement state safe care plans for substance-exposed infants, train first responders to administer opioid overdose drugs, and address workforce shortages, among other provisions. In other news, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee yesterday announced an April 11 hearing to consider more than 30 bills to address the opioid crisis through Medicare and Medicaid coverage and payment policies.

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