Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Spurred by Sarbanes Bill to Tackle Opioid Crisis, HHS Recommends Co-Prescribing Overdose Reversal Drugs to High-Risk Patients

New Federal Guidelines Will Increase the Availability of Life-Saving Drugs in Communities Across the Country
December 20, 2018
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Prompted by the Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act, a bill authored by Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and signed into law in 2016 by President Barack Obama, the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) released new federal guidelines today recommending that health care providers across the country prescribe opioid overdose reversal drugs to at-risk patients.

“These new HHS guidelines are an important and encouraging step forward in our fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “By getting more affordable and easy-to-use overdose reversal drugs into the hands of patients and communities across the country, we can save countless lives.”

Co-prescription programs are proven ways to reduce overdose deaths. The Veterans Health Administration has successfully distributed Naloxone to all veterans being treated for a substance use disorder or to those who take high doses of opiates. Through this important program, the VA has successfully reduced opioid overdose deaths among veterans.

For more information about HHS’s new naloxone co-prescribing guidelines, see here.