Senator Markey has worked to combat the opioid epidemic and believes the best way to fight this scourge is reliable long-term investments in prevention, treatment, recovery, and monitoring. He has authored and fought for legislation and helped secure federal funding to help Massachusetts’s towns and communities address the epidemic.
Senator Markey is co-author of the provision in the 2016 law that expands the availability of medication-assisted therapies (MAT) such as buprenorphine (also called Suboxone) by allowing, for the first time, physicians assistants and nurse practitioners to prescribe the life-saving treatment. His 2019 CREATE Opportunities Act would help expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in correctional facilities.
Senator Markey authored the INTERDICT Act, legislation to help stop the flow of the illicit opioid fentanyl across the U.S. border by equipping U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with hi-tech scanning devices and other technologies to detect synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The INTERDICT Act was signed in to law in 2018. In another effort to stem the flow of illicit fentanyl into the country, Senator Markey introduced the SAFE Mail Act to mandate 100 percent screening of all inbound international mail and express cargo from high-risk countries for illicit fentanyl and other illicit synthetic opioids.
In 2019, Senator Markey introduced the Opioid Quota Openness, Transparency, and Awareness (QuOTA) Act, which would shed light on quotas and the secretive process by which the pharmaceutical companies gain approval to produce the deadly opioid painkillers. He has also introduced the LABEL Opioids Act, which would require FDA to issue regulations providing for a warning label to be affixed directly to the opioid prescription bottle handed to the patient by the pharmacist, and the bipartisan Safe Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act which requires any prescriber of opioid medication to undergo mandatory education on safe prescribing practices.