Perry Joins OSS Health to Discuss Combatting the Opioid Crisis
Organization has dramatically reduced the prescription of opioid tablets to patients
Washington, May 4, 2018
York, PA – U.S. Rep Scott Perry (PA-4) participated in a forum this week to discuss how we can overhaul our prescription drug system and more effectively combat the opioid epidemic that plagues all of our communities. OSS Health hosted the forum and Congressman Perry was joined in the discussion by Pennsylvania State Representative Kristin Phillips-Hill and representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey and Pennsylvania State Senator Scott Wagner.
“I offer my sincere thanks to OSS Health for facilitating this discussion and for taking a leadership role in finding a solution,” said Rep. Perry. “The opioid and heroin overdose epidemic is a public health crisis that affects our citizens from big cities to rural communities. These substances damage and destabilize our neighborhoods and destroy lives and families – and we all share a responsibility to do something about it.”
Almost 70% of new or occasional abusers of prescription medications obtained drugs from a friend or relative without asking. In 2016, OSS Health studied the amount of pain medications they were prescribing. Their rationale was that if there are less opioid medications being prescribed, then there will be less available for inappropriate use. Working with their physicians, staff and patients, they saw a 33% decrease in the overall prescribed volume of opioid tablets from 2015 to 2016. This decrease comes even though OSS Health received more patient visits during this time. OSS Health earned a 2017 Excellence in Care Award from the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania for its commitment to battling the opioid crisis.
Congressman Perry has been proud to support legislation to empower our communities to help find solutions for our communities. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act made major policy changes and authorized record levels of funding to states. These bills helped modernize our laws to better reflect the challenges of addiction and provide those on the frontlines more flexibility and resources in their work. Pennsylvania has received more than $50 million via the 21st Century Cures Act over the last two years to strengthen prevention and education efforts.
Additionally, Congress appropriated an additional $6 billion over two years as part of a recent government funding bill. There is much more to do, however, and the U.S. House is preparing a legislative package of opioid-related bills for late spring or early summer.