Mullin, O'Halleran Introduce Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Press Release

Date: Sept. 27, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Drugs

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK-02) and Congressman Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ-01) recently introduced the E-Prescribing Parity for Controlled Substances Act (EPCS Act 2.0) to modernize prescription writing to form more stringent barriers to accessing Schedule II drugs like opioids. These barriers will reduce the number of overdose deaths and increase savings for hospitals and taxpayers.

"These substances are controlled for a reason," Mullin said. "We should be doing all we can to increase the safety and quality of the prescribing process to improve patient outcomes, and I am confident in the ability of EPCS to do just that. I want to thank Rep. O'Halleran for joining me in this effort."

"Across Arizona, and in communities across the country, families are still being ravaged by opioid abuse and addiction. No person is immune to the devastating effects of this epidemic," said O'Halleran. "I'm proud to introduce this commonsense, bipartisan legislation that expands the use of electronic prescriptions to reduce the prevalence of fraudulent prescription opioids, increasing the quality of care for patients and saving providers and taxpayers money in the process."

According to the Department of Justice, most fraudulent prescription opiates are obtained either through doctor shopping, forged prescriptions, or theft. Widespread adoption of electronic prescription would dramatically reduce the occurrence of doctor shopping and prescription pad theft.

In 2018, Congress passed the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely (EPCS) Act, requiring providers to employ electronic prescribing for controlled substances under Medicare Part D. The EPCS Act 2.0 builds upon the success of the 2018 legislation by requiring electronic prescription for all controlled substances, not just those for Medicare Part D.