Sending Office: Honorable Tim Ryan
Sent By:

Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Cosponsor HR 3974: The Prescription Drug Monitoring Act

Cosponsors: Connolly, Rose (NY), Trahan,

Dear Colleague:

We have seen the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic firsthand in communities throughout our districts. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in 2017 an estimated 1.7 million Americans were fighting opioid addiction. Unfortunately,
abuse of these drugs often begins with a legal prescription. According to CRS, nearly all prescription drugs involved in overdoses are originally prescribed by a physician.

Established in 2002, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) maintain statewide electronic databases of prescriptions dispensed for controlled substances. This information can then be used by other entities to educate and inform prescribers, pharmacists,
and the public; identify or prevent drug abuse and diversion; facilitate the identification of prescription drug-addicted individuals and enable intervention and treatment; and outline drug use and abuse trends to inform public health initiatives. All 50 states,
the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have an operating PDMP. PDMPs can identify and prevent unsafe prescribing practices and doctor shopping, helping to prevent addiction before it starts.

This legislation strengthens the role of PDMPs by requiring the use of prescription drug monitoring programs in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and requiring states to make their PDMP data accessible to other states.
The bill would do the following:

  • Require drug dispensers in covered states to report to the PDMP each opioid prescription they dispense to patients within 24 hours.
  • Require practitioners in covered states to consult the PDMP before prescribing opioids to patients.
  • Require states to actively notify practitioners when the PDMP shows a patient exhibiting patterns indicative of opioid misuse.
  • Require states to make their PDMP data available to other states.

In 2012, there were more opioid prescriptions in the state of Ohio than people. Progress has been made in combatting the opioid epidemic, but there is still work to be done. Join us in continuing these efforts to better track opioid prescriptions and reduce
overprescribing of medication. For more information or to cosponsor, please contact Rachel Jenkins ( in Congressman Ryan’s office or Brittany Madni (
in Congressman Balderson’s office.  




Tim Ryan                                                                                  Troy Balderson

Member of Congress                                                                Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: HealthCare, Judiciary

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