Hoosier Lawmaker Sponsors Opioid Bill in the U.S. House

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A bill to help fight the opioid epidemic sponsored by one of your lawmakers in Washington has passed the U.S. House.

Rep. Jackie Walorski's bill named the Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Improvement Act, aims to crack down on overprescribing of opioids by doctors and encourages the use of non-opioid drugs instead.

It requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to to conduct a study and submit recommendations to Congress on improving access to non-opioid pain management treatments.

"The bill is named after my friend Dr. Todd Graham who lived and worked in my district in northern Indiana," Walorski said on the House floor yesterday. "Last year he was senselessly murdered after refusing to prescribe an opioid to a patient."

Walorski refers to when Dr. Graham was shot and killed by 48-year-old Michael Jarvis, the husband of the of the patient who was denied opioids by Dr. Graham.

"The opioid epidemic continues to tear apart families and devastate communities all over the country," Walorski said. "The bipartisan legislation that just passed the House will help build on (Dr. Graham's) legacy by breaking down barriers to non-opioid treatments and giving doctors better tools to prevent addiction and assist in recovery."

The bill now head to the U.S. Senate.