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Congressman Alex X. Mooney (WV-2) Introduces Bipartisan PROP Act

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Alex X. Mooney introduced H.R. 4499, the bipartisan Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act, also known as the PROP Act. This bill makes a technical modification to the Affordable Care Act to eliminate a potential penalty on physicians who refuse to overprescribe opioid drugs. 

“Prescription drug abuse is wreaking havoc on families and communities in West Virginia and across our country. We have to fight back against this drug epidemic before it tears more lives apart,” said Rep. Alex X. Mooney (WV-2). “The Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act changes current law to help end the unnecessary overuse of prescription painkillers. In doing so, this bill empowers doctors, not the federal government, to choose what is right for patients.”

“In order to beat back on the scourge of prescription drug abuse, we have to employ a multi-pronged, holistic approach – and the medical community has certainly got to be a part of the solution,” said Rep. Hal Rogers (KY-5), Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. “I believe that the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing (PROP) Act will help change both attitudes and prescribing practices among physicians.  By sending a signal that opiates are not necessarily our first line of defense against pain, the bill will help doctors make informed medical decisions while ensuring that patients receive the best quality of care. I applaud Congressman Mooney for his leadership on this issue, and look forward to working with him to move the legislation forward.”

 “Around the country, families are losing loved ones to the devastating opioid epidemic that is sweeping across the nation. Far too many of those individuals struggling with opioid and heroin addiction first started after developing a dependence on prescription drugs. That’s why I’m a proud cosponsor of the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act, which will help encourage doctors to use best-practices when prescribing medication, in order to prevent patients from starting on the dangerous path towards addiction. We must put an end to this epidemic once and for all; I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together and pass this important legislation without delay,” said Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-2). Kuster is the co-founder of the Bipartisan Task Force to End the Heroin Epidemic, and she is working with stakeholders across the state of New Hampshire to tackle the epidemic in her home state.   

“Opioid abuse is a growing problem that is destroying lives in our region.  This bipartisan legislation will help curb unnecessary prescriptions of opioids and other drugs that are subject to abuse.  We have seen that when a patient gets routine surgery and is prescribed painkillers they become hooked and their downward path often ends in turning to heroin.  This legislation will help break that cycle and lead to better pain management by the medical community,” said Rep. Barbara Comstock (VA-10).

"Opioid abuse is devastating young people and their families on a daily basis across our country. Over prescribing is one factor driving this epidemic and it is critical that prevailing pain management protocols acknowledge and address the carnage that is a byproduct of the current approach, ” said Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (MA-8), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. “Congressman Mooney’s bill will do that. The Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act is a common sense bill that will allow doctors to continue their important work serving their patients without leading to unnecessary over prescription of opioids.”

“We know that prescription pain killers can be a gateway for heroin, yet we have a healthcare system that incentivizes the over prescription of these very same opioids. In what world does this make sense?  Each and every day I hear yet another devastating story about a life taken too soon because of heroin or prescription drug abuse. As a country, we must do more to ensure these men and women get the access to the care that is desperately needed, and this legislation is a positive step forward,” said Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13), Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of the bipartisan House Manufacturing Caucus.  

"This bill makes an important contribution to the multipronged effort needed to end the epidemic of opioid misuse and deaths from overdose, a high priority for the American Medical Association. We support steps to support clinical judgment and safe prescribing by addressing hospital payment incentives that may encourage inappropriate prescribing of opioids," said Dr. Patrice Harris, AMA Board Chair-Elect and head of the AMA Task Force to Reduce Opioid Abuse.

“ASAM is pleased to support the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act. While well-intended, current policies that link reimbursement to patient satisfaction survey questions about pain management can provide an incentive for health care providers to overprescribe opioids, a decision that can have devastating consequences for patients at risk of addiction. By breaking this link, the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act will free prescribers to use their best clinical judgment in prescribing opioids, rather than being influenced by the impact their decision will have on their hospital’s bottom line," said R. Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, President, American Society of Addiction Medicine.

H.R. 4499, the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act, would remove a significant source of pressure on doctors to prescribe narcotic pain medication. For more information on the PROP Act, follow this link.

Bipartisan Original Cosponsors: Annie Kuster (D-NH), Hal Rogers (R-KY), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Frank Guinta (R-NH), Tim Ryan (D-OH), and Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

The PROP Act has been endorsed by the Endorsements: American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Academy of Neurology, American Osteopathic Association, Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Friends of NIDA, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Association of American Medical Colleges, America’s Essential Hospitals.

Alex X. Mooney represents West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the Budget and Natural Resources Committees.