Legislation sponsored by Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks) to expand the tracking of narcotics deaths linked to the use of drugs to treat opioid addiction has passed the state House and is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
House Bill 1662 would amend and rename the Methadone-Related Death and Review Incident Act to the Medication Death and Incident Review Act. The intent of the bill is to include deaths and incidents attributable to the use and misuse of FDA-approved medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder.
“Increasingly, we are hearing about incidents involving overdoses of suboxone/buprenorphine from around the state,” said Tomlinson. “This problem is not unique to Pennsylvania. The federal government reports that emergency visits involving buprenorphine have increased nearly tenfold between 2005-10.”
Suboxone/buprenorphine is used to help people overcome opioid addiction.
In April, the U.S. Department of Justice indicted Indivior Inc. for alleged deception regarding the safety and diversion risks of Suboxone film.
“I believe this bill will help shape policy decisions in the future about the use of this drug,” Tomlinson said.
Former Rep. Gene DiGirolamo sponsored this legislation in previous terms.
“I am proud to continue in his tradition of protecting Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens in this ongoing battle against the opioid epidemic,” Tomlinson said.