Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: June 22, 2022
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McKINLEY. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of en bloc No. 2, which includes an amendment to report, track, and take action on suspicious orders.

While the COVID-19 pandemic raged through our population and dominated the headlines, the opioid epidemic exploded exponentially, silently claiming the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year. Recent CDC data shows that the overdose death rate for last year was over 103,000 citizens.

In 2017, the Energy and Commerce Committee conducted a comprehensive bipartisan investigation into opioid dumping in West Virginia. Outrageous details came to light, exposing how drug shipments in rural West Virginia went unconstrained. For example, over 2 million opioids were sent to a little town of 3,000 people.

Another example: Even after a distributor found numerous red flags during his site visit, nearly 1.5 million doses of opioids were still shipped to a single pharmacy in Kermit, West Virginia, with a population of 406.

The report that was filed by the Energy and Commerce Committee details failures on the part of both DEA and the distributors to identify and halt suspicious orders. Distributors felt they didn't have the authority to halt suspicious orders and could have been subject to lawsuits.

As recommended in the report, this amendment not only requires the distributors to report suspicious orders but also to investigate the situation and decline to fill the order if it is warranted.

American communities deserve to be treated better. This influx of illegal drugs must be stopped, and this amendment is a step in the right direction.

Madam Speaker, I urge Members to adopt this amendment.