Senate Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Tackle Opioids, Includes Key Donnelly Provisions

October 5, 2018 by TWN Staff

This week, the Senate passed the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act,” a comprehensive bill to help address the opioid and drug overdose epidemic. The legislation passed on a bipartisan 98-1 vote, and now heads to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill includes several provisions advocated by Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly that would 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.

“I’m very pleased that the House and Senate have worked together over many months to create this bipartisan legislation, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. This bill provides important new tools to combat the opioid epidemic, and works to ensure that those providing prevention, treatment, and recovery services in our communities have the resources necessary to help those in need of assistance,” said Donnelly.

Two other Donnelly provisions encourage the development of non-opioid or opioid sparing treatments, which the senator says will help bring non-opioid or non-addictive pain medications and treatments to patients more quickly and help clarify how the FDA approves treatments that reduce the need for opioids.

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