Lawmakers search for solutions to opioid crisis

DENVER (KDVR) — Lawmakers at the state Capitol are getting closer and closer to their designated stop time.

The legislative session is set to end sometime this Wednesday, but lawmakers still have some key items to deal with, like the fentanyl prevention measure. Before they get to that, they were able to work through some items Monday. One item that made it out with some major tweaks.

They passed another bill looking to curb overdoses in the state, but the solution they agreed on may take a while to yield results.

Originally, lawmakers wanted to pass a bill creating a statewide program for people to bring in their unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. That idea got some pushback. So instead, they moved to put together a task force to flesh out the idea first.

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Congress looks to expand beyond opioid prescriptions

Others in Colorado are looking to Congress. People like Dr. Sarah Werner with the SAFE Project are asking the federal government to move on a bill called the NOPAIN Act. The bill looks to expand access to opioid alternatives for Medicare patients.

“It does not tell doctors how to prescribe, it does not tell hospitals how to prescribe, it simply gives the opportunity for the hospitals and the doctor to offer alternative pain treatment that will be reimbursed,” Werner said. “Giving people options for other management of pain- other options besides opioids. Currently, Medicare will not pay for other options besides opioids because the opioids are inexpensive.”

That bill is currently sitting in the US Senate. As for lawmakers here at the Colorado Capitol, they were able to pass the bill setting up the unused-drug task force with bipartisan support.

The fentanyl accountability measure is the bill many are focused on this session. Right now, lawmakers are still working on its final version.

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