Request for Supporting the Bill: S 2256 Co-Prescribing Saves Lives Act

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Dear Senator Alexander,

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My name is xxxx . I am student nurse with special interests in mental health. I am writing to request your support for the bill: S. 2256: Co-Prescribing Saves Lives Act of 2015. The U.S. suffers immensely from a heroin and opioid overdose pandemic; hence it is important to legalize the use and uptake of naloxone, a lifesaving prescription that reverses opioid overdose. Several deaths have been reported as a result of opioid overdose, with approximately 25,000 people reported to have died as a result of heroin and prescription opioid overdose. We, health care professionals, are required to do better in using the available remedies to avert this endemic. Among the robust tools in our armory that we should use on a regular basis are prescription drug monitoring initiative, improved awareness schemes and naloxone.

Since 1996 to date, approximately 27,000 overdose reversals have been reported by community-based organizations, based on the utilization of this medication. As a result, the move to co-prescibe naloxone to victims of opioid overdose has been extensively supported by various health care organizations and agencies; at local, state and national level, as critical component of the remedy to the growing epidemic of opioid- and heroine-related overdose deaths because of its effectiveness. Nevertheless, there are legal and regulatory limitations on the access of naxolone.

The passage of the Co-Prescribing Saves Lives Act of 2015 bill would advance education and guiding principles for the co-prescription of naloxone, the overdose reversal medication, in all federal healthcare institutions. The bill would call for the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of Health and Human Service to develop co-prescription guidelines and physician education policies that would be used in , DOD hospitals , VA hospitals, Indian health service centered and federally qualified health facilities. Pharmacists or prescribers in general, would be educated on the appropriate methods of prescribing and giving out opioid medications as well as the need for naxolone co-prescription. In fact, based on the existing state legislation such as the Pennsylvania States Good Samaritan Law, clinicians have been reported to be reluctant to give a naloxone prescription because they do not want to offend the victims of opioid overdose by discussing with them the risk of overdose. The passage of bill would help combat this challenge, by facilitating the development of effective ways of approaching victims of drug overdose over their condition.

Moroever, the bill would also approve a program to allocate state departments and agencies of health funds that would assist them in formulating co-prescription guidelines and policies, purchasing naxolone and facilitating training for healthcare practitioners as well as patients, and would also allocated funds to state agencies to augment access to naloxone.

In conclusion, the passage of the bill would lead to improved access to naloxone, which an essential component of an all-inclusive approach to reduce the overdose of prescription drugs. It is my belief that the proper co-prescription of naloxone and the increased access to it in community-based healthcare programs alongside the of prescription drug monitoring initiatives and increased awareness and education on drug overdose emergencies, are essential step in reversing the rising epidemic of opioid- and heroine-related mortality and morbidity. In the light of that, I ask you to support S. 2256: Co-Prescribing Saves Lives Act of 2015. In case you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully Yours




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