Brooks Bipartisan Poison Control Bill to Combat the Opioid Epidemic Passes the House
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 5329, the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2018, introduced earlier this year by Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05).
To watch Brooks’ remarks on the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act on the House Floor, click here.
H.R. 5329, the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2018 reauthorizes funding for the Poison Center Network, including their national toll-free number (800) 222-1222. Specially trained physicians, nurses and pharmacists answer calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year from the public, hospital emergency departments, pharmacists, law enforcement officials, EMTs, schools, Department of Health officials and more. Poison Control Centers are essential to combating the opioid crisis because they compile data that can be used to discover hotspots for opioid abuse and misuse and alert impacted communities so they can appropriately address the situation.
Transcript of remarks:
I rise today to urge my colleagues to pass H.R. 5329, the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act of 2018; a bill that reauthorizes the national network of Poison Control Centers, as we’ve heard that offers free, confidential, and expert medical advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As we heard during an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, this past summer the Georgia Poison Control Center was the first public health entity to detect and respond to a deadly opioid outbreak where yellow pills were being sold stamped with the brand Percocet but they that in fact contained substances chemically similar to fentanyl. Without calls to poison control centers to report this drug, these pills could have gone undetected indefinitely.
Poison control centers are fielding almost 192 cases a day of opioid abuse and misuse. In one month alone, there were 9,039 opioid exposures reported to poison control centers nationwide. They are essential to combating the opioid crisis because these are the centers used to compile data that can be used to discover hotspots for opioid abuse and misuse and save lives.
I want to thank all of my colleagues, especially Representative Engel, Representative Barton and Representative DeGette, who have been strong voices as well as [Energy and Commerce Committee] Chairman Walden and Ranking Member Pallone for supporting this and so many other impactful bills.
But on behalf of 1,526 Hoosiers who died of an opioid overdose in 2016, I urge my colleagues to pass H.R. 5329. Thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.