Prescription drugs have valid medical purpose and are crucial for the health of the American people. However, the over-prescription of drugs by physicians presents a serious danger to a person’s health. The Uniform Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Opioid Abuse Reduction Act is designed to reduce the availability of Opioids and fund the research to create non-addictive pain medication. This bill seeks to create a national database to monitor and regulate over prescription. Not to mention, the act will fund medical research to develop new non-addictive prescription drugs. This bill is essential because over 11 million Americans are abusing opioids. This problem has yet to be solved because people doctor shop, an illegal method where an individual visits multiple physicians to obtain prescription drugs. In Hawaii, opioid overdoses have more than doubled in the past ten years and everyday people are developing addictions after being prescribed opioids for surgeries. The Uniform Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Opioid Abuse Reduction Act will strongly impact young adults (ages 18 to 25) and pain patients.
In order to execute the Uniform Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Opioid Abuse Reduction Act, the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (HRDMP), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, will play a role. The program has the power to give grants to states for the PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program). The funds are allowed to go to establishing a PDMP system and expanding a system. Also, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can provide grants to states to implement drug monitoring programs, therefore the funds are available to create a nationwide system to monitor prescription drugs. PDMPs cost 450,000 to 1.5 million dollars, however there are multiple federal grants that can help to aid this program. In order to fund the medical research to develop non-addictive pain treatment, which costs around 2.6 million dollars, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Site-based Program will allow a grant. This program can fund up to 1.5 million dollars for up to three years for the opioid epidemic cause. The Uniform Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Opioid Abuse Reduction Act will be implemented in the year of 2020 because the opioid epidemic is rising quickly. The bill may be resigned in the year of 2023, where hopefully new non-addictive pain medication will have been developed.
The federal government is legally able to enact this bill through the commerce clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) written in the constitution, which states that Congress has the power to regulate interstate trade. This clause is the source of drug regulation laws. In the Supreme Court case, Gonzales v. Raicht, one side argued that possessing drugs can motivate those in other states to sell drugs. The court ruled in favor of Gonzales and concluded that Congress has the power to regulate the interstate market for controlled prescription drugs. Therefore, Congress has the ability to manage prescribed medications.
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