U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today introduced bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid epidemic by improving access to non-opioid pain treatments. The Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Improvement Act (H.R. 5722), named for the South Bend doctor shot to death after refusing to write a prescription for opioid painkillers, aims to reduce overprescribing of opioids by examining ways to expand the use of non-opioid alternatives in Medicare. Walorski was joined by Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) in introducing the bill.
“Opioid abuse is devastating families and communities across the country, and the senseless murder of my dear friend Dr. Todd Graham was a tragic reminder of how serious this crisis is,”Congresswoman Walorski said. “We have already taken steps to reduce overprescribing of opioids, but we must do more to ensure patients have access to non-addictive pain management options. As we continue working toward commonsense solutions to the opioid epidemic, this bipartisan bill will help break down barriers to non-opioid treatments and give doctors better tools to prevent addiction.”
“As opioid addiction impacts families in every community across the country, it’s imperative that we find alternatives to keep more individuals from that destructive path. That starts with expanding options for patients,” said Rep. Chu. “And with millions of beneficiaries, Medicare is one of our best tools for that. When it comes to combatting this crisis, patients need to have access to every tool in the toolbox that can help treat and manage pain. I want to thank Jackie Walorski for her hard work on this bill as well. The opioid epidemic knows no partisanship, and I am proud to partner with Rep. Walorski to bring life-saving alternatives to opioids to more Americans.”