Enhances veteran safety by eliminating copayments for naloxone rescue kits and education
Apr 12 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) this week sponsored S. 2772, legislation that would make naloxone rescue kits more affordable and accessible to our nation’s veterans.
As a PBS Frontline report recently highlighted, America’s veterans face greater risk amid the nation’s opioid crisis. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) system, veterans are more likely to die from accidental opioid overdoses than non-veterans. And, in 2014, more than 55,000 veterans were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder. This bill will eliminate copayment requirements for veterans prescribed naloxone rescue kits, which can help reverse the toxic effects of opioid overdoses. The bill would also educate veterans and their families about safe opioid use.
“When a veteran is dependent on opioids as a result of injuries incurred during his or her service to our nation, we have a responsibility to provide the best possible care, including pain management” Sen. Moran said. “The threshold between pain management and opioid addiction, however, is far too easy to cross, as we see from the high number of veterans currently diagnosed with an opioid use disorder. That is why it is critical that we lower barriers to access naloxone kits for our veterans – the only resource that can protect against the worst-case scenario of an overdose.”
Sen. Moran also sponsors the bipartisan Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act (S. 1641), a bill aimed at providing safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans, which directs the VA to enhance its naloxone education and distribution program. An updated version of this legislation passed the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs in 2015 and awaits consideration by the full Senate. Sen. Moran supported the Senate’s passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 514) last month.