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After Opioid Community Conversation, Phillips Takes Action in Congress

Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) announced a series of legislative actions that he has taken based on discussions from the opioid community conversation he hosted last month.

Phillips joined the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioids Task Force, a group of Congressional lawmakers focused on writing and supporting bills that address the opioid crisis. He also co-sponsored a series of bipartisan bills that would prevent the spread of opioid addiction and overdose.

“The opioid crisis is not a distant problem,” said Phillips. “It is affecting families right here in our backyard. Our recent community conversation brought together state lawmakers, law enforcement, addiction experts and advocates for a powerful discussion about how we can build a safer, healthier community. We need to invest in prevention, the treatment of addiction, and support for those in recovery. Representation begins with listening, and I’m honored to do my part in Congress based on the stories and concerns I hear at home.”

Phillips has signed on as a cosponsor of the following bills:

  • John S. McCain Opioid Addiction Prevention Act, which would limit the initial prescription of opioids for acute pain to a seven-day supply. This is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines for prescribing opioids. The limit would not apply to the treatment of chronic pain.
  • The ALERT Act would create an alert system to notify pharmacists when a patient fills an opioid prescription. This prevents a potential person suffering from addiction from filling the same prescription from multiple pharmacists.
  • Insurance Fairness for First Responders Act, which would prevent insurers from denying coverage or raising premiums for first responders and medical professionals who carry naloxone, a life-saving medicine that prevents overdoses. Currently, life insurers deem anyone who carries naloxone to be at higher risk of death from overdose, which negatively impacts first responders and medical professionals.

Yesterday, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bipartisan bill to create a state fund dedicated to preventing and treating opioid addiction.