May 2024 Newsletter
Prepared by Van Scoyoc Associates

Faster Approach for Starting Extended-release Naltrexone to Treat OUD Shown Effective
According to results from a clinical trial supported by NIDA, starting people with opioid use disorder on extended-release, injectable naltrexone within five to seven days of seeking treatment is more effective than the standard treatment method of starting within 10-15 days, but requires closer medical supervision. Read more here.

Majority Leader Schumer Calls for Action on Cannabis Reform
On May 1, Senate Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY) held a press conference announcing the re-introduction of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. The legislation would end the federal cannabis prohibition by removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and empower states to create their own cannabis laws. Read more here.

Blumenauer Unveils Legislative Blueprint Following Rescheduling
On May 7, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) pushed President Biden to enact nearly a dozen executive actions that build on the Department of Justice’s proposal to reclassify cannabis as a Schedule III substance. Read more here and here.

Study on Parents Lost to Drug Overdose
According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, an estimated 321,566 children in the United States lost a parent to drug overdose from 2011 to 2021. Read more here.

Cassidy Releases Proposals to Improve NIH
On May 9, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a white paper detailing proposals to improve the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Read more: here.

CDC Reports Decrease in Drug Overdose Deaths
According to new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths in the US declined last year for the first time since 2018, even as overall drug use-related deaths remained well above pre-Covid pandemic levels. Read more here.

Study on Changes in Self-Reported Cannabis Use in The United States
According to a new study in the journal Addiction, the number of Americans who report daily or near-daily cannabis use now outnumbers people who report daily or near-daily alcohol use. Read more here.

House Appropriations Committee Releases Markup Schedule and Subcommittee Allocations
On May 16, the House Appropriations Committee released their FY25 markup schedule, as well as interim subcommittee allocations. The Labor HHS bill will be marked up in subcommittee on June 27 and full committee on July 10.

DEA Releases Proposed Rule on Rescheduling of MarijuanaOn May 16, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released a proposed rule on the rescheduling of marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III. Read more here.

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Fentanyl

On May 23, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing entitled, “Front Lines of the Fentanyl Crisis: Supporting Communities and Combating Addiction through Prevention and Treatment.”  Read more here.

Senate Labor HHS Hearing on Fiscal Year 2025 NIH Budget

On May 23, the Senate Labor HHS Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing examining the President’s Fiscal Year 2025 budget request for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Nora Volkow was one of the witnesses. Read more here.

NIH Seeks Input on Commercialization of Taxpayer-funded Breakthroughs

On May 22, the Federal Register posted a request for information from interested stakeholders with regard to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) plan to “require that licensees that succeed in bringing certain products toward market submit a plan outlining steps they intend to take to promote patient access to those products.” Interested entities can respond to the proposal by July 22nd. Read more here.

House Committee Approves Amendment Barring Production of Hemp-Derived Intoxicating Products

The House Agriculture Committee advanced a proposal to ban the sale of most intoxicating hemp products containing cannabinoids during a markup of its farm bill. Read more here.