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Fairness in Orphan Drug Exclusivity Act

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 17, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. McKINLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4712. Understandably, our nation has focused on COVID, but the opioid epidemic still ravishes across America. During this crisis overdose rates have increased dramatically. In fact, in West Virginia more people have died from drug abuse than from COVID.

We have a duty to our constituents to ensure that all possible treatment options are available. MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment), has been proven to be effective in treating opioid addiction. Yet, drug companies are holding new treatments hostage through a loophole in the Orphan Drug Act, which was created to encourage drug companies to research treatments for rare diseases.

It was not intended to prevent competition. With millions of Americans suffering from opioid addiction, it is vital we give them and health care providers every option available. The Fairness in Orphan Drug Exclusivity Act will help expand access for those suffering from addiction by making innovative treatments available.

I urge my colleagues to support the passage of H.R. 4712.

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