September CEPOP Session

On September 23, CEPOP hosted its monthly All-Participants Teleconference. Our Focus Topic speaker for this meeting was:

  • Ms. Jamie Margetta, MPH, Epidemiologist, Injury and Violence Prevention Section, on Minnesota’s Pilot Opioid Overdose Fatality Review; and
  • Mr. Van Ingram, Director, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, will discuss the state’s recently launched Hope and Help Initiative around access to recovery services for individuals and family members with substance use disorders.

Additional information, including the agenda and WebEx coordinates, can be found in the attached PDF.


CEPOP All-Participants Teleconference WebEx (September 2019)

CMS Announces $50M Grant Infusion to 15 States to Improve Treatment Access

The Center for Medicaid last week announced the infusion of $50 million into fourteen states and the District of Columbia last week to improve the localities ability to provide adequate access to substance use disorder treatment services. As part of the application process, awardees needed to demonstrate how the increased availability of funding resources would be put towards increasing the number of SUD treatment providers that accept Medicare and simultaneous efforts to improve and expand their programs. The initial pilot is set to last for 18 months with a second tranche of funding opportunities available for at least five states that would be selected to participate in a 3-year demonstration program.

Recipients include: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Articles & Resources – SUPPORT Act Section 1003: Demonstration Project to Increase Substance Use Provider Capacity

Bloomberg Government – Medicaid Divvies Up $48 Million in Opioid Money to 14 States

Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy Amid Settlement Talks

Early last week, OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma announced that it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of the preliminary settlement agreement the organization has made with several states leading the suits against the company. While the dissolution of the company into a public trust and anticipated inclusion of billions from the Sackler family themselves have been made into pillars for the settlement, approximately half of states have decidedly not accepted the deal to date in hopes of securing a larger and firmer settlement with the manufacturer. Upon filing for bankruptcy, any simultaneous lawsuits against the company would be frozen and a bankruptcy judge would work to help divvy up Purdue’s assets throughout the parties commensurate with impact.

Articles & Resources

STAT News – Purdue Pharma, Maker of OxyContin and Other Drugs, Files for Bankruptcy

Bloomberg Government – Purdue Opens Bankruptcy With Pledge to Investigate Sackler Cash

Los Angeles Times – Purdue Pharma Offers to Keep Selling Opioids But Hand Over Profits

The New York Times – Purdue Says Sacklers May Walk From Opioid Deal If Judge Does Not Block Cases

Study Finds Link Between Heart Valve Infections and IV Drug Use, Doubling in Recent Years

Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association last week demonstrated a startling increase in the number of infective endocarditis cases associated with drug abuse. Looking into more than 565 million hospitalizations between 2002 and 2016, researchers found that individuals with drug abuse-induced infective endocarditis were more likely to be: younger, white males, insurance coverage through the Medicaid program, and in the lowest quartile for median household income. In turn, these patients were sicker and often required more extensive and expensive care. While the data indicated an increase in these statistics across the nation, the Midwest was hit particularly hard and experienced the highest annual percent increase regarding DA-IE diagnoses. Nearly 10% of the 955,000 hospitalized cases of infective endocarditis were tied to individuals who admitted drug abuse compared to only 4.4% of patients that did not have infective endocarditis (20 million of 455 million).

Articles & Resources

Journal of the American Heart Association – Geographic Trends, Patient Characteristics, and Outcomes of Infective Endocarditis Associated With Drug Abuse in the United States From 2002 to 2016

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the issue. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Articles & Resources

NASADAD – Issue Brief: The Benefits of Using GIS Technology in State Substance Use Agencies

Buzzfeed News – Instagram’s Opioid Recovery Hashtags Are Full of Drug Dealers

Wall Street Journal – Fentanyl Drug Finds New Home in First Opioid Crisis Bankruptcy Deal

Wall Street Journal – A Tennessee Pharmacy Bought Nearly a Million High-Dose OxyContins in 2008

Canadian Institute for Health Information – Hospital Stays for Harm Caused by Substance Use Among Youth Age 10 to 24, September 2019

Inside Health Policy – Plans Say Prior Authorization Is Necessary For MAT, AMA Disagrees

Inside Health Policy – Mental Health Advocates Call For Clinic Expansion, Reduced MAT Barriers

POLITICO – Can Virtual Reality Be an Opioid Alternative?

Associated Press – Some CBD Vapes Contain Street Drug Instead of the Real Thing

Bloomberg Law – House Panel Seeks Details on States’ Use of Opioid Response Funds

Law360 – Opioid MDL Judge Deserves DQ for Bias, Drug Cos. Say

Law360 – Meet the Attys Leading the Opioid MDL ‘Negotiation Class’

FDA Newsroom – Statement on Continued Efforts to Increase Availability of All Forms of Naloxone to Help Reduce Opioid Overdose Deaths

FDA Newsroom – FDA Limits Packaging for Anti-Diarrhea Medicine Loperamide (Imodium) to Encourage Safe Use

Drug Enforcement Administration – DEA Proposes to Control Three Precursor Chemicals Used to Illicitly Manufacture Deadly Fentanyl

Department of Justice – Owner of Detroit-Area Care Clinics Pleads Guilty to Drug Diversion Scheme

Department of Justice – Former CEO Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Food and Drug Administration and Distributing Adulterated Drugs

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas – Texas Healthcare Fraud Takedown Results in Charges Against 58 Individuals

U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado – Registered Nurse Sent to Federal Prison for Stealing Opioids from Hospital

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma – Three Tulsans Charged for Supplying Patients with Illegal Opioid Prescriptions

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma – Warr Acres Doctor Indicted on Opioid and Identity Theft Charges

Vaping and Appropriations Dominate Congressional Calendar

The House and Senate are set for a busy week ahead focused primarily on issues related to e-cigarettes, vaping and appropriations-related issues. At this time, there are no relevant hearings related to opioids, although other events are on the calendar (included below). Should there be any additions to House or Senate schedules or updates with respect to additional events, this information will be made available.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Pediatric and the Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committees Meeting
Thursday, September 26; 9:00am – 4:00pm; FDA White Oak Campus

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