Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Opioid Measure Signed

Oct 24, 2018
Press Release

16th Buchanan Initiative Now Law

Six Under Obama, Six Under Trump & Four Under Bush

WASHINGTON – President Trump today signed a sweeping anti-drug bill today that includes Congressman Vern Buchanan’s proposal to reduce opioid addiction – Buchanan’s 16th legislative initiative signed into law since coming to Congress.

Buchanan’s bipartisan measure, which was rolled into a legislative package addressing the opioid crisis, creates a national database providing information to patients who want to manage pain without addictive opioids.

Of the 16 Buchanan-authored measures enacted into law, six were signed by former President Obama, six by Trump and four by George W Bush. (click here to see complete list).

Buchanan’s legislative wins cover issues important to his constituents, including protecting Medicare and Social Security, assisting veterans, combating red tide, helping citrus farmers, improving foster care for children, banning the slaughter of American horses and ending taxpayer rip-offs.

Buchanan attributed his legislative accomplishments to a willingness to work on a bipartisan basis to achieve results for his constituents and the state of Florida. “Nothing is impossible if we work together,” Buchanan said, crediting his constituents with many of the ideas that he introduced. “We need more civility and less partisanship in Washington.”

Buchanan has earned high marks from independent groups that track effectiveness and bipartisanship in Congress. The Center for Effective Lawmaking, a respected non-partisan research group run by the University of Virginia ranked Buchanan one of the most effective members of Congress from either party. (click here). Another study by the non-partisan Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy called Buchanan one of the most bipartisan members of Congress. (click here).

Buchanan, the co-chair of Florida’s bipartisan 29-member congressional delegation that includes the state’s two U.S. senators, said “no single party has the market cornered on good ideas.”

A longtime leader on confronting the opioid crisis, Buchanan has a strong record on fighting pill mills and addressing the drug epidemic. His latest bill, incorporated into a larger opioid package, would create a national database providing the most up to date information to people who want to safely manage pain without fear of opioid addiction.

“Drug addiction is claiming far too many lives here in Florida and across the country,” Buchanan said. “I hope my legislation gives doctors and patients the information they need to seek out safer alternatives to managing pain.”

The Buchanan proposal has been endorsed by one of Florida’s leading drug treatment facilities, Centerstone Behavioral Hospital and Addiction Center, which has a major facility in Bradenton. 

The federal government has published countless guidelines, studies and reports related to opioids but these documents are scattered across the websites of at least nine different federal agencies as well as offices within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). 

The Centralized Opioid Guidance Act also addresses a key recommendation made by the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The commission recommended “that HHS coordinate the development of a national curriculum and standard of care for opioid prescribers.” 

The new centralized database will contain existing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines referenced by the President’s Commission, as well as dozens of new guidelines and reports mandated by Congress in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, and the broader opioid legislation signed into law today. Together, these guidelines and best practices will assist doctors and Medicare patients in making safe, medically appropriate decisions about how to treat pain.

Buchanan’s record on the opioid crisis includes:

In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration adopted Buchanan’s proposal to make it more difficult for abusers to obtain certain highly addictive narcotics. The government’s action followed the introduction of Buchanan's Pill Mill Crackdown Act of 2011.

Buchanan also co-sponsored legislation signed into law to reduce the flow of fentanyl coming into the country. And last year, Buchanan was successful in securing millions of dollars in funding for Southwest Florida to address the drug epidemic.

The opioid package also includes the STOP Act, a bill co-sponsored by Buchanan to block shipments of deadly synthetic drugs coming into the United States.