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Bilirakis Implores Colleagues to Extend Ban on Fentanyl

April 14, 2021
Press Release

Bilirakis Implores Colleagues to Extend Ban on Fentanyl


Washington, DC:  During today’s Health Subcommittee hearing, Representative Gus Bilirakis highlighted the extreme toll that the addiction crisis is having on the communities he represents, citing that 48 people in one county in his district alone have died since January of 2021 from a drug overdose.  Bilirakis fears that this problem will only be worsened if Congress allows the current ban on fentanyl-related substances to expire on May 6, 2021.  Prior to the ban, drug traffickers would slightly change the molecules of the drug formula before selling it on the streets.  The altered drug was still highly potent but wasn’t technically considered fentanyl.  This routine practice made prosecution of fentanyl trafficking cases very difficult until fentanyl-like drugs were included in the national ban.     


It is shocking that so many members of our community have been lost since JanuaryWe know a significant number of those deaths were related to the presence of fentanyl,” said Bilirakis. “If the current ban expires, we can expect more dangerous drugs will flood our streets and more people will die.  We cannot allow that to happen.”


One bill Congressman Bilirakis has co-sponsored, the FIGHT Fentanyl Act (H.R. 1910), will permanently extend this ban.  Bilirakis is urging his colleagues to expedite passage of this important bill.  Addressing the addiction crisis is a bipartisan issue and during the hearing, the committee reviewed many proposals to tackle the problem.  One of the bills reviewed was co-authored by Congressman Bilirakis.  The Opioid Prescription Verification Act (H.R. 2355) would strengthen identification requirements at pharmacies and improve use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.