Yaw Legislation Calls for Easier Access to Abuse-Deterrent Opioids

HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) today announced that he will again re-introduce legislation calling for easier access to abuse-deterrent opioids through insurance plans.

Yaw’s bill would require insurance companies to provide access to abuse-deterrent opioids, which promote the utilization of abuse-deterrent properties that prevent cutting, dissolving, crushing pills into powder and/or melting pills to inject into needles.

“It is widely known that a majority, roughly 80 percent, of heroin addicts can trace their addiction back to prescription opioids,” Yaw said.  “For the past three years, the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, of which I serve as chairman, has been examining the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth.  Law enforcement, healthcare professionals, treatment providers and educators all provided information on how best to address this important issue that is skyrocketing out of control.  I am hopeful that broader availability of abuse-deterrent opioids can aid in the fight to prevent abuse and misuse of opioid medications.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is encouraging the development of opioid formulations with abuse-deterrent properties to help combat the opioid epidemic plaguing the nation. The agency recognizes that opioids with abuse-deterrent properties are not abuse-proof, but are a step toward products that will help reduce abuse.

Last session, Sen. Yaw, along with Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-122), introduced similar legislation.

This legislation is one of several bills introduced by Sen. Yaw to combat Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic.

For more information on the Center’s heroin hearings, click here.



Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff

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