NHPCO Cheers Inclusion of Safe Disposal Provision in New Law

Categories: Policy.

On October 24, President Trump signed into law H. R. 6, the “Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act” or the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act.” This legislation has been championed  by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization for its key provision allowing for the safe  disposal of a hospice patient’s expired or no longer needed controlled substance medication by a qualified hospice professional.

NHPCO  applauds bipartisan lawmakers in Congress for helping to address the nation’s opioid epidemic by including this important provision, which resulted from nearly three years of perseverance and advocacy by NHPCO and our partners in the hospice community.

“In hospice care, opioids are often prescribed to alleviate pain and suffering for those with advanced illness and at the end of life, but there is a possibility that these drugs can be diverted and misused after the intended patient no longer needs them,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach.

“Granting the authority to qualified hospice professionals to dispose of these powerful end-of-life drugs and alleviate the grieving families they serve of this responsibility is a natural extension of the person- and family-centered care that hospice provides,” added Banach.

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