House leadership remains focused on passing bipartisan opioid legislation by Memorial Day, but recently indicated a June vote might be more likely.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce last week held the first of two full-committee markups on its opioid-related legislative package. The committee advanced 32 bipartisan opioid bills related to patient privacy, access to medication-assisted treatment, and preventing infectious diseases through injectable drugs. The second full-committee markup is scheduled for May 17.

The House Committee on Ways and Means this week will mark up four recently introduced opioid bills. Both the House Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Education and the Workforce are expected to introduce their own bills, following hearings last week.

Meanwhile, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), said the Senate will bring its own opioid legislation to a floor vote after the House has passed its opioid package. Alexander said Senate action likely won’t occur until summer.

HELP Committee Activity

In the meantime, the Senate HELP Committee this week will hold a hearing about oversight reports on the 340B Drug Pricing Program. Witnesses for the hearing include Ann Maxwell, assistant inspector general for evaluation and inspections at the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General; and Debra Draper, director of the health care team at the Government Accountability Office.

The HELP Committee also will hold a May 22 hearing on how to mitigate health care workforce shortages while improving care quality.