Advocacy Alert: Federal Acts for Counterfeit Drugs and Opioid Response (HB 5228 and HB 5109)

Sep 6, 2018

HB 5228: SCREEN Act

On March 8, 2018, Representative Frank Pallone and seven other Representatives presented HB 5228, known as the SCREEN Act (Stop Counterfeit Drugs by Regulating and Enhancing Enforcement Now Act).

The bill, if passed, would "strengthen the authorities of the Food and Drug Administration to address counterfeit drugs, illegal and synthetic opioids, and opioid-like substances, and for other purposes." It would strengthen the FDA's authority to detain, refuse, and destroy substances identified through International Mail Facilities (IMFs), improve enforcement mechanisms, and provide funding to better combat the influx of illegally manufactured opioids into the country.

The bill sponsor stated, "[i]f we are serious about combatting the opioid epidemic, we need to provide FDA with the funding and tools needed to take on the illicit drug trade taking place through the international mail system. The SCREEN Act will provide FDA with the expanded authority and capacity needed to more effectively combat the influx of deadly synthetic opioids like fentanyl reaching our shores through the mail ...."

The bill passed the House on June 12, 2018, and is currently in the Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

BHAP supports this bill. This would reduce the number of counterfeit drugs in the marketplace, and would afford the government a mechanism to destroy said counterfeit drugs.

We encourage you to reach out to your representative and express your support of HB 5228.

HB 5109: Federal Opioid Response Fairness Act of 2018

On March 5, 2018, Representative Ann Kuster and six other Representatives introduced HB 5109, known as the Federal Opioid Response Fairness Act of 2018.

The bill, if passed, would amend the 21st Century Cures Act to ensure the equitable distribution of resources in order to address the opioid epidemic. The amendment would refine the requirements for states to qualify for these resources, as well as adding a minimum amount for the grants used. It's set to take effect on October 1, 2018.

The bill is still in the House, and referred to the Subcommittee on Health as of March 2, 2018.

BHAP supports this bill. The bill will help distribute funds to locations where there is a considerably higher incidents of opioid abuse.

We encourage you to reach out to your representative and express your support of HB 5109.

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