Senator Marshall Advances Bill to Battle Fentanyl Crisis and Improve Addiction Treatment Nationwide

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a markup to reauthorize the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Reauthorization Act. Originally signed into law in 2018, the SUPPORT Act is Congress’ most comprehensive package to address substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery. A section-by-section summary of the reauthorization bill can be foundhere

During the markup, the Committee unanimously voted in support of U.S. Senator Roger Marshall’s amendment that would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to publish a roadmap to guide the pharmaceutical industry in developing innovative non-addictive medicine for the treatment of chronic pain. It was the only amendment to achieve full Committee support.

You may click HERE or on the image above to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks.

Highlights from Senator Marshall’s remarks include:

“We’ve seen no innovation in non-opioid drugs in the last 50 years and my legislation addresses issues with that. Pharmaceutical manufacturers rely on the FDA to provide the rules of the road for various therapy classes. Based on those documents, innovators and their investors will decide how to proceed, or not at all.” 

“Drug development has been extremely difficult for innovative pain medicine. According to an industry report, there is only a 2 percent probability of FDA approval from phase 1, compared to the overall 10 percent success rate across all diseases medicines.”

“The 2018 SUPPORT Act required the FDA to foster the development of novel analgesic drugs by assisting sponsors with the development of non-opioid alternatives for acute and chronic pain management. Unfortunately, the FDA has not fulfilled this requirement. Our job is to hold the FDA accountable.”

 “My amendment reinforces the requirement to publish guidance for non-addictive drugs that treat chronic pain. This is the greatest opportunity to avoid long-term opioid use and risk of addiction… especially for the 16 million Americans with chronic lower back pain who worry about overusing opioids. These patients don’t want to use opioids, but there’s not a lot of other good treatments out there.”

“We can help pave a brighter future by encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to continue taking risks. I believe American ingenuity will one day make opioids a thing of the past.”