August 2018 Newsletter
Prepared by Van Scoyoc Associates
OPIOIDS HAVE SPARKED AN HIV OUTBREAK IN MASSACHUSETTS
The Huffington Post published an in-depth piece on how opioid misuse, and specifically fentanyl, are sparking an increase in HIV diagnoses in Massachusetts. Read more here.
FDA GUIDANCE TO PROMOTE NEW OPIOID TREATMENTS
On August 6, the FDA issued new scientific recommendations aimed at encouraging more widespread innovation and development of novel medication-assisted treatment (MAT) drugs for the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD). Read more here.
OPIOID SALE RECORDS SOUGHT
On August 3, House Energy and Commerce Committee members sent letters to three major drugmakers requesting records related to opioid sales. Read more here.
BIG INCREASE OVER 15 YEARS IN PREGNANT WOMEN ADDICTED TO OPIOIDS
The rate of pregnant women addicted to opioids at the time of delivery quadrupled over 15 years, a new CDC analysis shows. Read more here.
NALOXONE USE AMONG EMERGENCY PERSONNEL SKYROCKETS
An opioid-related study released by the CDC on August 9 shows the rate that emergency personnel administered Naloxone has dramatically climbed the last few years. Read the report here.
FACEBOOK TO REGULATE TREATMENT CENTER ADS
Facebook will begin regulating the posting of ads on its site by addiction treatment centers. Read more here.
DOJ & DEA SEEK TO REDUCE MANUFACTURING OF OPIOIDS
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced a proposed effort to reduce the amount of opioids manufactured in the U.S. next year. Read more here.
NATIONAL ACADEMIES WILL CREATE NEW OPIOID PRESCRIBING GUIDELINES
On August 22, the FDA announced they have awarded a contract to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to create new opioid prescribing guidelines to build on recent CDC guidance amid the opioid crisis. Read more here.
SENATE PASSES FY19 LABOR HHS BILL
On August 23, the Senate voted, 85-7, to approve a combined Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services and Defense spending bill. The Senate bill includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health. Read more here.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that bipartisan legislation to address opioid addiction will be one of the chamber’s top priorities after Labor Day. Read more here.
SYNTHETIC DRUGS LEGISLATION
Senators Cassidy (R-LA), Hassan (D-NH), Jones (D-AL) and Young (R-IN) introduced legislation that would require the U.S. surgeon general to report to Congress on the health effects of new psychoactive substances, including synthetic drugs, on young adults ranging from 12-18 years of age. Read more here.
MEDICAID OPIOID PILOT PROGRAM
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is launching a plan to scale back the opioid epidemic’s effects on low-income kids and teenagers. Read more here.
FDA ISSUES WARNING LETTER TO OPIOID SELLING WEBSITES
On August 28, the FDA warned four online networks that they must immediately stop selling opioids to American consumers on their combined 21 websites. Read more here.
FDA TO REVAMP ITS OPIOID AND PAIN MED GUIDANCE
In an August 29 statement about the FDA’s ongoing work to address the opioid crisis, Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the FDA plans to withdraw a 2014 guidance document for developing pain medicines in favor of a more focused approach to spur non-opioid drugs. Read more here.
TRUMP AIMS TO COMBAT SUPPORT FOR MARIJUANA
The White House has set up a committee from 14 federal agencies to fight public support for marijuana and criticize state legalization measures. Read more here.
MEMBERS OF CONGRESS URGE VA TO STUDY MEDICAL CANNABIS
Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Representatives Phil Roe (R-TN) and Tim Walz (D-MN) sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs urging them to begin clinical trials to better understand the potential benefits or dangers of medical cannabis use. Read more here.