Several of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly’s provisions to combat the opioid abuse epidemic were signed into law yesterday by the President as part of the bipartisan Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. Donnelly spoke on the Senate Floor earlier this month about his bipartisan efforts to address this public health crisis.
A provision based on the Donnelly-Murkowski-Hassan Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Act, which was introduced in March. The provision will incentivize substance use disorder providers to work in areas that have high overdose rates, or a shortage of treatment providers, by providing up to $250,000 in student loan relief in exchange for up to six years of service.
A provision based on the Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management, Treatment, and Recovery Act, legislation Donnelly introduced with Senator Todd Young (R-IN) in June, which aims to expand the use of non-opioid alternatives in Medicare. It is named in honor of Todd A. Graham, M.D. – a doctor in South Bend, Indiana with over three decades of service – who was senselessly murdered in 2017 for refusing to prescribe an opioid to a patient.
Two other Donnelly-Young provisions, based on their bipartisan efforts to encourage the development of non-addictive or opioid sparing treatments. They aim to help bring non-addictive pain medications and treatments to patients more quickly and to help clarify how the FDA approves treatments that reduce the need for opioids.