January 2019 Newsletter
Prepared by Van Scoyoc Associates
ONDCP DIRECTOR CONFIRMED
On January 2, the Senate confirmed Jim Carroll as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, making him the first permanent leader of the office in nearly two years amid the deadly opioid epidemic. Read more here.
AMA URGES STATES TO REMOVE KEY BARRIER TO MAT
Too many Americans are being harmed by delays in accessing medication-assisted treatment for opioid addictions, Barbara McAneny, the AMA’s president, writes in a January 7 essay. Read more here.
CDC: FATAL DRUG OVERDOSES AMONG WOMEN ROSE SHARPLY OVER TWO DECADES
Drug overdose fatalities rose dramatically among women over nearly two decades, the CDC reported in a new study, with deaths involving synthetic opioids, heroin and benzodiazepines accounting for the largest increases. Read more here.
ODDS OF DYING FROM OPIOID OVERDOSE SURPASS OTHER CAUSES
A new report found that, for the first time, Americans are more likely to die of an opioid overdose than in a vehicle crash. Read more here.
FDA RELEASES OVER-THE-COUNTER NALOXONE LABELING
The FDA has developed a pair of consumer-friendly model drug labels for over-the-counter versions of the opioid antidote naloxone to make it easier for drug companies to apply to market the treatment. Read more here.
CDC: OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS STILL HIGHER IN RURAL AREAS
According to new CDC data released on January 17, primary care doctors in rural areas continue prescribing opioids at a significantly higher rate than their metropolitan counterparts, even as state and federal policies try to limit use of the addictive medicines everywhere. Read more here.
STUDY LINKS DRUG MAKER GIFTS TO DOCTORS TO MORE OVERDOSE DEATHS
SAMHSA OFFERS TIPS TO FIND ADDICTION TREATMENT
On January 24, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration published a blog post offering advice to people searching for addiction treatment on how to navigate the complex industry. Read more here.
ACCESS AND ACCOUNTABILITY STILL BARRIERS TO TREATMENT
The Trump administration, Congress and states are pouring billions of dollars into addiction treatment to fight the opioid crisis, but accountability for the burgeoning industry hasn’t kept pace with those efforts leaving patients vulnerable to ineffective care, fraud and abuse. Read more here.
CMS PROPOSES OPIOID CONTROLS FOR MEDICARE PLANS
On January 30, as part of CMS’s 2020 draft call letter, the Trump administration proposed new steps to discourage opioid abuse in Medicare Advantage and Part D, including added surveillance and expanded use of non-opioid pain treatments. Read more here.
NIH ESTABLISHES HEAL MULTI-DISCIPLINARY WORKING GROUP
The NIH HEAL Initiative has assembled the HEAL Multi-Disciplinary Working Group, an expert group of outside advisors to provide on-going guidance and oversight while contributing significantly to the evolution of the Initiative’s vision, scientific and clinical goals, and operations. Read more here.