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ADA supports two House opioid bills

May 15, 2018

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — In continuing efforts to combat opioid misuse and ensure safer prescribing practices, the ADA is supporting two bills introduced in May by Congress.

In a May 14 letter to the House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Richard Neal, D-Mass, the ADA thanked the legislators for supporting H.R. 5776, the Medicare and Opioid Safe Treatment Act, and H.R. 5774, the Combatting Opioid Abuse for Care in Hospitals Act. 

“We believe your legislative proposals include numerous provisions which would complement our ongoing efforts to keep prescription opioid pain medications from becoming a source of harm in our communities,” wrote ADA President Joseph P. Crowley and Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin.

The Association was particularly pleased that HR 5776 called for dentists to be included in a requested pain management study.

“As unique providers in the acute pain management field, we believe consultation between Health and Human Services and health service providers will be hugely beneficial in strengthening our pain management efforts,” wrote Drs. Crowley and O’Loughlin. “We commend the committee’s response included in this legislation that sufficiently distinguishes pain management in dentistry from pain management in medicine, specifically when it comes to managing acute pain versus chronic pain.”

The ADA asked the committee to also consider adding a dental professional organization to the technical expert panel for reducing surgical setting opioid use as found in HR 5774, the Combatting Opioid Abuse for Care in Hospital Act.
 
"We believe the addition of a dental professional organization on this panel could provide valuable insight regarding acute pain management best practices,” they wrote.

The ADA also reminded the committee of the Association’s new interim policy on opioids that supports mandates on prescription limits and continuing education and thanked the committee for its efforts on combating the crisis.

For more information, visit ADA.org/opioids.