The John S. McCain Opioid Addiction Prevention Act (HR 1614 / S 724, 116th Congress) would establish federal requirements in the form of registration statutes for prescribers of opioids. The bill would mandate that a current or potential opioid prescriber could not register or renew their license unless the prescriber certifies that they will not prescribe any Schedule II, III, or IV opioid drugs for the treatment of acute pain for longer than either a seven-day supply or an opioid prescription limit established under State law (whichever amount is lesser). This bill does not address opioid prescriptions relating to chronic pain, pain treatment for cancer care, hospice care, or palliative care.
This bill has been introduced as part of an ongoing legislative effort to address the current opioid crisis within the United States. Many people who begin using illegal opioids or opiates do so after being prescribed opioids for a medicinal purpose. For example, according to the National Institutes of Health, 80% of people who use heroin first used nonmedical prescription pain relievers. This legislation is one part of a trend by Congress to address the opioid epidemic through various laws addressing different aspects of the epidemic.