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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 2, 2019 11:05 AM
From: Representative Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Intergovernmental Collaboration on Opioid Addiction
In the near future, I intend to re-introduce legislation (former HB 2200) that would require state government agencies to collaborate in an effort to help stop drug addiction. Many provisions in law have been made to try and get at the multiple facets of this problem. I think it’s time we evaluate what has been enacted to date and decide if adjustments need to be made.

During my tenure here I have observed that we try again and again to address the addiction crisis and yet recent data show that Pennsylvania is still experiencing an uptick in overdose deaths while other states are seeing a decline. My bill will require each agency to be accountable for the laws we have enacted in this endeavor. A comprehensive look at what has been done and what effects those changes have had is certainly due. Every state agency must report their efforts and a complete report will need to be released. That report will include the status of implementation of various laws, what benchmarks have been reached, and any barriers that may be impeding our success. The agencies will also be required to offer specific suggestions for actions that state government agencies could implement along with any needed legislation to effectively reach our goals. Attached is a brief list highlighting those agencies which will be part of the new reporting requirement along with a description of information they will need to provide.

My legislation, which will be an amendment to the Administrative Code, will also require the Attorney General to marshal all of the plaintiffs in Pennsylvania who are seeking damages from the pharmaceutical industry in order to be held accountable to Pennsylvania’s taxpayers.

Additionally, the legislation will allow for a state of emergency to be declared whether it is due to another addiction crisis or a public health emergency like a flu pandemic. Trying to fit current circumstances into the disaster declaration currently available was not ideal. This will allow us to prepare for any eventuality.

Lastly, my bill will require the Department of State to require continuing medical education in the effective warm hand off to addiction treatment for people flagged in ABC-MAP for unusual patterns of use of controlled substances and for overdose survivors.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

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