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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 24, 2015 09:04 AM
From: Representative Gene DiGirolamo
To: All House members
Subject: Emergency Addiction Treatment Fund

I am so tired of hearing from parents with dead kids, young people dead from drug overdoses.

2,525 Pennsylvanians died in 2013 with numbers expected to go up. That’s 2,525 grieving families who lost loved ones to this entirely preventable and entirely treatable problem.

By midnight tonight, 7 additional Pennsylvanians will have died from a drug overdose.

Last session we worked together to enact two critically important laws to address the problem. The Prescription Drug Monitoring law will eventually cut down on access to unneeded prescription opiates. In addition, we enacted a law making the life-saving drug, Narcan available to our communities by providing training and liability protections for first responders and others.

We know that prescription opiates are driving both the overdose death rate and the growing heroin problem in the state.

It’s time. It’s time for the manufacturers and marketers of prescription opioids to step up, own up, clean up and address the damage to our communities and to our families.

I expect to introduce legislation shortly that will impose a 10% impact fee on the sales of opioids in the state of Pennsylvania.

The impact fee will go to counties to fund Narcan for local police, EMS and others, drug and alcohol counseling in county jails and to clean up other criminal justice costs.

In addition, the impact fee will support the Emergency Addiction Treatment Fund in the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and establish a program that will assist consumers in accessing their own health care plans. All counties will have access to these dollars. Finally, funds will be used to support and maintain the Prescription Drug Monitoring program.

Introduced as HB1511