Donnelly: Pleased Governor Pence is Engaging on Issue of Drug Abuse in Indiana, Progress Will Require Full Partnership of the State

Indianapolis, Ind. — U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement in advance of hosting a roundtable discussion Wednesday in Indianapolis with Congresswoman Susan Brooks, and after Indiana Governor Mike Pence announced Tuesday he is forming a task force to address drug abuse in Indiana. 

Donnelly said, “I am pleased Governor Pence is engaging on the issue of drug abuse in Indiana, and progress will require the full partnership of the state. This has been a serious and growing problem across Indiana for several years and that is why I first introduced bipartisan legislation in 2014 to combat the opioid abuse and heroin use epidemics and worked with Congresswoman Susan Brooks, who introduced a similar bipartisan bill in the House. As part of our ongoing efforts, Congresswoman Brooks and I are hosting a roundtable discussion Wednesday on opioid addiction and the role providers can play in helping address this issue and assist their patients. It will take all of us — doctors, pharmacists, public health professionals, educators, and local, state and federal elected officials — working together to address these devastating epidemics.”  

On Wednesday at IUPUI, Donnelly and Brooks are co-hosting a roundtable discussion on opioid addiction and the role providers can play in helping address this issue and assist their patients. They will look at this issue from a range of different perspectives, including from the federal and state level, as well as on-the-ground, in doctors’ offices and at pharmacies. They will be joined by Indiana State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome Adams, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, and a representative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as doctors, pharmacists, and public health officials. 

In June 2014, Donnelly first introduced bipartisan legislation designed to help address opioid addiction and reintroduced bipartisan legislation this year. In June 2015, Brooks introduced the companion bill in the House. Their legislation includes establishment of an inter-agency taskforce to develop best practices for prescription pain medication prescribing and pain management.

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