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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 6, 2016 04:27 PM
From: Representative Frank Burns
To: All House members
Subject: Prescription Drug Heroin Abuse/Overdoses
In the near future, I plan on introducing a resolution requesting the United States Congress to pressure the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reverse its directive allowing OxyContin to be prescribed to children 11 to 16 years of age.

Opioids are medications that relieve pain and include drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and fentanyl as well as heroin. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, opioid addiction resulted in 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain medications and 10,574 overdose deaths were attributed to heroin use in 2014. Four out of five new heroin users started out misusing prescription pain medication, which has resulted in heroin overdose deaths nearly quadrupling from 2000 to 2013.

OxyContin is an extended-release version of the opioid medicine, oxycodone, which when prescribed and used properly can help manage pain. The FDA requested the manufacturer of OxyContin to perform studies evaluating safety and other important information about oxycodone and OxyContin when used in pediatric patients. Following the results of those studies, the FDA approved OxyContin in August 2015 for children 11 to 16 years of age as an alternative pain medication if pain cannot be treated effectively with other medications.

Please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this important resolution.

Introduced as HR17