Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and Ranking Member Seth Moulton (MA-6) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations introduced the Sharing Health Information to Ensure Lifesaving Drug Safety, or SHIELDS, Act, H.R. 5591, to close a gap in Department of Defense’s (DoD) practice of reporting prescriptions, including regarding opioids. 

“We have identified a gap that does not require DoD to report controlled substance prescriptions to prescription drug monitoring programs,” said Chairman Turner. “These drug monitoring programs are imperative in combating the opioid epidemic, but only prevent overprescribing of medication when they have the full scope of data for a patient. This DoD reporting gap makes our nation’s active duty service members, reservists, their families, veterans, and retirees vulnerable to this epidemic of addiction. Ranking Member Moulton and I have introduced legislation to immediately close this gap and prevent more individuals from falling victim to opioid addiction.”

“Opioid addiction has had a devastating effect on our veterans community,” said Ranking Member Moulton. “No one is immune to how this epidemic has plagued our country. This bipartisan effort will help our service members get the care they deserve by increasing coordination between the DoD and civilian health care providers. Together, we are taking an important step towards directly tackling the problem of opioid addiction within the armed services.”

In December, Chairman Turner and Ranking Member Moulton wrote to Secretary of Defense James Mattis expressing their concern over the DoD prescription reporting gap.