CHARLESTON, W.Va. — At a national drug summit today, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., plans to unveil proposed legislation that aims to curb prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths.
One bill would place new painkiller medications under greater scrutiny, making it more difficult for the Food and Drug Administration to ignore the advice of its own drug advisory panel, which reviews new medicines before they’re approved for sale. Manchin’s second bill would set up new requirements for medical professionals who prescribe pain pills — along with other drug-fighting measures.
West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation, and prescription pills have played a part in many of those deaths.
“The biggest problem we have is the doctors who are killing people because they’re habitually overprescribing,” Manchin said Tuesday in Charleston. “Unless we go after these doctors, we’re no going to stop this. They’re getting too much money seeing these patients every day.”
Manchin is one of six federal lawmakers scheduled to speak at the National Prescription Drug Summit in Atlanta. U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, a Republican who represents West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district, also plans to speak today at the event.
Over the past two years, Manchin has been an outspoken critic of the FDA…