April 2018 Newsletter
Prepared by Van Scoyoc Associates
NATIONAL RX DRUG ABUSE AND HEROIN SUMMIT
Researchers, government officials and other advocates and experts participated in the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit April 2-5. Read more here.
NIH LAUNCHES OPIOID INITIATIVE
On April 4, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins announced the launch of the HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, an aggressive, trans-agency effort to speed scientific solutions to stem the national opioid public health crisis. Read more here.
GOTTLIEB CALLS ON SOCIAL MEDIA SITES TO BETTER POLICE OPIOID ADS
On April 4, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called on social media companies and internet service providers (ISPs) to help “crack down” on illegal opioid distribution via the internet. Read more here.
SURGEON GENERAL NALOXONE ADVISORY
On April 5, the Surgeon General released an advisory on Naloxone. Read more here.
WAYS AND MEANS DRAFT ON SOLUTIONS TO OPIOID EPIDEMIC
On April 11, the House Ways and Means Committee released a bipartisan discussion draft that summarized feedback they received from stakeholders on solutions to the opioid epidemic. Read more here.
OVERSIGHT HEARING ON LOCAL RESPONSE TO OPIOID CRISIS
On April 11, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits, and Administrative Rules held a hearing titled, Local Responses and Resources to Curtail the Opioid Crisis. Watch a webcast here.
SENATE HELP HEARING ON OPIOID PACKAGE
On April 11, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018. Watch a webcast here.
ENERGY AND COMMERCE MEDICARE AND MEDICAID OPIOID HEARING
On April 11 and 12, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a 2-day hearing on 34 bills and discussion drafts related to Medicare and Medicaid to address the opioid epidemic. More information can be found here.
BOEHNER JOINS BOARD OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMPANY
Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has joined the board of a top cannabis corporation to promote the use of medical marijuana. Read more here.
SENATORS SEND LETTER TO DEA ON MARIJUANA RESEARCH
Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging the DEA to stop slowing medical marijuana research. Read more here.
FY19 NIH BUDGET EXAMINED
On April 11, the House Labor HHS Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing with the National Institutes of Health to examine its FY2019 budget request. One area of interest among committee members was the efforts to combat opioid addiction. Watch the webcast here.
SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING ON FENTANYL
On April 11, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism held a hearing titled, Defeating Fentanyl: Addressing the Deadliest Drugs Fueling the Opioid Crisis. Watch a webcast here.
NIH DIRECTOR ACCEPTS RECOMMENDATION ON OPIOID PARTNERSHIP
On April 13, Dr. Francis Collins said that NIH will embrace his advisory committee’s recommendation that that the agency decline cash contributions from the drug industry as part of its work to address the opioid crisis to eliminate the risk of bias. Read more here.
LEGISLATION TARGETING DRUG COMPANIES INTRODUCED
ATTORNEY GENERAL UNVEILS RULE AIMED TO CURB PILL DUMPING
On April 17, Attorney General Jeff Sessions unveiled a rule aimed at curbing “pill dumping” by setting new limits on how many painkillers a company can make in a given year. Read more here.
SENATORS CALL ON HHS TO REDUCE NALOXONE PRICE
On April 18, a group of 16 Democratic senators called on HHS to reduce the price of naloxone. Read more here.
SCHUMER SUPPORTS BILL TO DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA
On April 19, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced his support for decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level. Read more here.
SENATE FINANCE HEARING ON ADDRESSING OPIOID MISUSE IN MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
On April 19, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on addressing the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Watch a webcast here.
ENERGY AND COMMERCE ROUNDTABLE
On April 19, the House Energy and Commerce Committee Health Subcommittee held a roundtable with families who have been affected by the epidemic. Watch a webcast here.
FDA ISSUES GUIDANCE ON MEDICATION-ASSISTED OPIOID TREATMENT
On April 20, the FDA issued guidance on the development of new injection or implantation products medicines designed to treat opioid abuse. Read more here.
SENATE HELP COMMITTEE OPIOID PACKAGE
On April 24, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee favorably reported the Opioid Crisis Response Act (S. 2680) as amended by a unanimous vote. A webcast of the markup can be found here.
HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE CONSIDERS OPIOID BILLS
On April 25, the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee approved 57 bills to address the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic. Read more here.
FDA ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS ON JUUL AND E-CIGARETTES
On April 24, the FDA announced new enforcement actions and a Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan to stop youth use of, and access to, JUUL and other e-cigarettes. Read more here.