October 2018 Newsletter
Prepared by Van Scoyoc Associates
OPIOID BILL SIGNED INTO LAW
On October 24, a bipartisan bill addressing the opioid crisis was signed by President Trump. Read more here.
STUDY: FENTANYL TEST STRIPS IMPROVE SAFETY
People who test illegal street opioids for fentanyl before using are five times more likely to engage “in safer drug use behaviors” when the test comes back positive, according to new research from RTI International. Read more here.
SAMHSA HEAD KNOCKS FENTANYL TEST STRIPS
On October 3, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration chief Elinore McCance-Katz suggested that the strips could encourage patients with addictions to seek out fentanyl, rather than use them to screen for the deadly drug and avoid it. Read more here.
HEALTH PLANS MAY DISCOURAGE NON-OPIOID ALTERNATIVES
Health insurance policies often don’t cover non-opioid treatments for lower back pain, creating a barrier to reducing the use of prescription pain drugs, a study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found. Read more here.
NIH DIRECTOR SHARES THOUGHTS ON OPIOID ADDICTION, CHRONIC PAIN
The week of Oct. 1, NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, PhD, shared his thoughts on opioid addiction, chronic pain, and the need for new solutions in a USA Today op-ed inset and an interview with USA Today. Read more here.
WHITE HOUSE AIRING NEW OPIOID AD
On October 22, the White House’s drug control policy office released the second in its series of anti-opioid ads aimed at preventing drug use among young adults. See the ad here.
OPIOID OVERDOSES DROP; OTHERS INCREASE
While the opioid epidemic keeps claiming the lives of Americans, deaths from another drug are picking up according to the CDC. Read more here.
FDA EFFORTS TO ADVANCE NEW WAYS TO INCREASE AVAILABILITY OF NALOXONE
On October 23, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that the agency will hold a two-day advisory committee meeting in December to solicit input and advice on strategies to increase the availability of naloxone products intended for use in the community. Read more here.
GAO REPORT ON ACTIONS TAKEN UNDER OPIOID PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY
On October 23, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on the actions taken and not taken by the Administration to date under the opioid public health emergency. Read the report here.
CMS TREATMENT INITIATIVE
On October 23, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) model to address the need to better align and coordinate care of pregnant and postpartum Medicaid beneficiaries with opioid use disorder (OUD) through state-driven transformation of the delivery system surrounding this population. Read more here.
DOJ HOSTS OPIOIDS SUMMIT
On October 25, the Justice Department convened a National Opioids Summit with top officials from the DEA and FBI. Watch the event here.
NORA VOLKOW ON FIGHTING ADDICTION, NOT JUST OPIOIDS
The chief of the National Institute on Drug Abuse joined POLITICO’s Dan Diamond for an interview on her career and current challenges. Listen to the podcast here.
HHS CIVIL RIGHTS OFFICE UNVEILS ADDICTION AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
On October 25, HHS’ Office for Civil Rights launched a new awareness campaign highlighting civil rights protections for people with addiction as part of the Trump administration’s broader efforts to address the opioid crisis. Read more here.
DOJ SPENDING $70 MILLION ON DRUG FIGHT
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is committing $70 million for new grants aimed at fighting drug trafficking and aiding children affected by the drug crisis. Read more here.