The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), continued its series of hearings on Friday focusing on the growing problem of prescription drug and opioid abuse.
“Over the past five weeks, this subcommittee has heard from opioid-addiction experts working within local communities and our leading academic and research centers, ¨ Murphy said. ¨Today, we turn to the federal agencies charged with providing guidance, direction and leadership in our nation’s public-health response to the opioid epidemic. We can do better.”
Committee members discussed the issue with federal officials to learn what they are doing to fight the epidemic and discover how federal policies can support efforts to develop new treatments.
Witnesses from the Office of National Drug Policy, Planning and Evaluation at HHS, National Institute of Drug Abuse and Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the FDA were at the hearing to share what they are doing to fight the epidemic.
Every day, 44 people in the U.S. die from prescription-painkiller overdoses, and nearly 7,000 are treated in emergency rooms for using these drugs in a way other than directed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
“To take on the enormous challenge posed by the opioid-abuse epidemic, we need to be unified and find common ground,¨ House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said.