WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said three provisions he authored are being proposed for implementation in regulations for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Pennsylvania has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic and while significant steps have been taken to address it, more work remains,” said Toomey. “CMS is proposing to implement three provisions I authored as part of the 2018 SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act that would help ensure Medicare is a better steward of opioid prescriptions and takes commonsense steps to prevent abuse and misuse. I look forward to working with CMS to enact these provisions and improve Medicare for seniors and people with disabilities.”

In 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug overdose deaths in the United States involving prescription opioids, such as codeine and oxycodone, declined for the first time since 2012. In Pennsylvania, total drug overdose deaths decreased by 18 percent from 2017 and prescription opioids were found in 18 percent of all overdoses, a small reduction below the prior year’s figure. Despite this progress, in 2018 Pennsylvanians were dying from drug overdoses at the fourth highest rate in the nation.

Toomey’s provisions include a drug management program, previous overdose support and reporting and increased waste fraud and abuse protections.

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