July 2018 Newsletter
Prepared by Van Scoyoc Associates
FORMER DRUG CZAR PUSHES INTEGRATION OF METHADONE INTO PRIMARY CARE
Michael Botticelli, who led the White House drug policy office in the Obama administration, and others in a new New England Journal of Medicine article call for Congress to lift restrictions on methadone treatment and allow it to be administered in a primary care setting. Read more here.
OHIO MEDICAID BENEFICIARIES AT RISK OF OPIOID ABUSE
A new HHS Inspector General report said hundreds of Medicaid beneficiaries in Ohio were at "serious risk" of opioid misuse and abuse following a yearlong study of prescribing practices. Read more here.
DOJ FINALIZES ACTION TO REDUCE DIVERSION AND OPIOID ABUSE
In July 11, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it finalized a proposal first announced in April 2018 to slow diversion and further limit annual opioid production limits. Read more here.
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE PASSES LABOR HHS BILL
On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee approved their fiscal 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services bill. A conference will have to take place to reconcile differences between the House and Senate bills. Read more here.
HEARING ON ONDCP NOMINEE
On July 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Jim Carroll to lead the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Read more here.
ATTORNEY GENERAL TARGETS AREAS FOR CRACKDOWN ON FENTANYL SALES
On July 12, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a new $6 billion program aimed at cracking down on drug dealers selling synthetic opioids like fentanyl as part of the Trump administration's efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Read more here.
OPIOID AND NICOTINE USE, DEPENDENCE, AND RECOVERY – INFLUENCES OF SEX AND GENDER
On July 16, the FDA announced they will hold a two-day scientific conference in September to discuss how sex and gender influence opioid and tobacco misuse and abuse. Read more here.
DEFAULT SETTINGS CAN REDUCE OPIOID PRESCRIPTIONS
According to a report in JAMA Surgery, changing the default settings in Yale's EHR system turned out to be a simple way to reduce opioid prescriptions. Read more here.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS WITH HIGHEST OPIOID PRESCRIPTION RATES
According to new research in the American Journal of Public Health, Alabama-4, represented by Rep. Robert Aderholt, had nearly 1.7 opioid prescriptions per person in 2016. Kentucky-5, Tennessee-3, Tennessee-1 and Alabama-1 rounded out the top five. Read more here.
FDA UPDATES OPIOID GENERICS GUIDANCE
On July 20, the FDA issued 43 new or revised product-specific guidance documents to help drugmakers develop generics, as well as updating some guidances on developing generics for abuse-deterrent formulas of opioid painkillers. Read more here.
POLITICO-HARVARD POLL: FEW AMERICANS SATISFIED WITH SPENDING ON OPIOID CRISIS
HOUSE COMMITTEE UPDATED ON MENTAL HEALTH REFOMRS IN 21ST CENTURY CURES ACT
On July 19, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee held a hearing on the status of implementation of the mental health reforms that were included in the 21st Century Cures Act. Read more here.
HOUSE COMMITTEE UPDATED ON CURES IMPLEMENTATION FROM NIH AND FDA
On July 25, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing entitled 21st Century Cures Implementation: Updates from the FDA and NIH. Read more here.
MEDICARE RULE PUSHES HIGHER PAYMENT FOR NON-OPIOID PAINKILLERS
CMS is proposing new changes to payment policies for hospital outpatient departments and ambulatory surgical centers in 2019 to address the opioid crisis. Read more here.
COLLABORATION FORMS ON OPIOID EPIDEMIC
On July 30, the National Academy of Medicine and the Aspen Institute announced that they're forming a group to coordinate the efforts of governments, health providers and academia to lower the rate of opioid use in the United States. Read more here.