WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman of Arkansas’ fourth district is co-sponsoring the House companion to Senator Chuck Grassley’s “Stop Pills That Kill Act.”

According to a press release, the bipartisan, bicameral legislation seeks to “deter narcotics traffickers and strengthen the nationwide fight against fentanyl by implementing new penalties for counterfeit pill production.” The “Stop Pills That Kill Act” applies the existing penalties for possessing paraphernalia for manufacturing methamphetamine to the paraphernalia for making counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and methamphetamine. 

“In 2021, fentanyl overdose was the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18-45,” said Congressman Westerman. “This bipartisan legislation is another vital tool in our fight against these counterfeit narcotics that are destroying lives. We have seen too many tragedies in Arkansas and across the nation as a result of this deadly drug. We must protect our communities and ensure those who are peddling this poison are met with the strongest deterrents possible.”

The bill instructs the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to create “an in-depth plan for stopping the rapid spread of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl or methamphetamine in communities across America.”  It also requires the Attorney General, in conjunction with the DEA and Office of National Drug Control, to submit an annual report to Congress on the risks of pills laced with illicit drugs, along with information on efforts to raise public awareness and actions from law enforcement to combat this scourge.

The full text of the bill can be found here.