JOIN US: CEPOP All-Participants Teleconference Today

Later today, at 3:00pm, CEPOP will be hosting it’s February 2020 All-Participants Teleconference via WebEx. As we look to build upon last month’s 2020 Strategy Session, we encourage all CEPOP participants to join us for a robust and productive discussion around what the organization has identified as priority issues for the year ahead. We’re pleased this month to also have the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) serve as our focus topic speakers to discuss the recently released National Drug Control Strategy and National Treatment Plan for Substance Use Disorders. Representing ONDCP will be:

  • Cecelia Spitznas, PhD, Senior Science Policy Advisor, National Opioids and Synthetics Coordination Group; and
  • June Sivilli, MA, Assistant Director, Public Health, Education and Treatment

CEPOP All-Participants Meeting Logistics (December 2019)
To join WebEx, please CLICK HERE.
Or, to join via conference call:
Conference Line: (855) 244-8681
Participant Code: 627 215 618


CEPOP All-Participants Meeting Agenda (Feb. 2020)

CEPOP 2020 Workplan and Agenda

ONDCP, CDC Partner on 2020 Drug-Free Communities Grant

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released on Tuesday a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the FY2020 Drug-Free Communities Support Program with $25 million support allocated for 200 new community efforts. Remarks by ONDCP Director Jim Carroll emphasized the importance of youth education around substance misuse and abuse and primary prevention efforts as part of the broader national response to the epidemic. As part of the release, ONDCP announced that day-to-day management of the DFC and CARA Local Drug Crisis programs would now be housed within CDC”s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a longstanding CEPOP ally.

In response to the announcement, Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC Director, noted, “Local communities are at the forefront in the fight to prevent youth substance use, and CDC is committed to strengthening their capacity to develop innovative, community-based programs that save lives.” His remarks were echoed by Director Carroll with respect to the CDC’s expertise around grants management and technical assistance.

Articles & Resources

White House Newsroom – Nearly $25M Available to Substance Use Prevention Coalitions in New Partnership Between ONDCP and CDC

Indiana AG Highlights Threat of Acute Care Opioid Diversion

Consistent with the state’s priorities throughout his term as the state’s lead law enforcement official, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced this week two significant efforts aimed at addressing the public health and patient safety threats posed by the diversion of opioids and other controlled substances in places where healthcare services are offered. Three different cases throughout the state of Indiana this week highlighted the importance of greater oversight and security around the storage and dispensation of controlled substances in acute care settings. In Clark County, a nurse was charged with diverting, for personal use, pain medications destined as end-of-life care for hospice patients. Two additional cases prosecuted by the state’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit highlighted additional instances of diversion and subterfuge of controlled substances, in one case totaling more than 265 pills including powerful opioids such as Norco, hydromorphone and oxycodone.

Following the announcements, Attorney General Hill noted, “We are pleased to partner with other law enforcement agencies and local prosecutors in the fight to stop drug diversion and protect vulnerable citizens living in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and group homes throughout Indiana.”

As lead on one of the cases, Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen said, “My commitment to the fight against narcotic drug diversion has been enhanced by the partnership we’ve established with the Attorney General’s [Medicaid Fraud Control Unit]…The fact that the same unit that is already familiar with the evidence and the witnesses is able to provide attorney manpower and other resources to seamlessly proceed with the criminal case is a win-win for our community.”

Articles & Resources

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill – AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Prosecutors Combat Drug Diversion by Health Care Professionals

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill – Investigation by AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Leads to Charges Against Hospital Nurse

The Herald Bulletin – Former Southern IN Hospice Nurse Now Facing Fraud Charges in Three Counties

FDA’s Operation Broadsword Highlights International Threats

On Tuesday, the FDA has announced the successful execution of a collaborative enforcement effort with the Government of India targeting the arrival of potentially counterfeit, substandard or otherwise dangerous prescription drugs and medical devices at ports of entry. The first bilateral operation between the two countries, Operation Broadsword targeted threats to U.S. consumers by illegal online drug sellers responsible for the sale and shipment of counterfeit and substandard pharmaceuticals and medical devices into America. Specifically, FDA staff identified controlled substances, such as opioids, in the near 500 seize packages. In total, staff identified more than 800 parcels suspected to contain illicit medical products which ultimately spanned more than 50 different FDA-regulated products.

In response to the successful actions, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn said, “With standards and regulations varying in each country, U.S. consumers face hazards when they order drugs and other FDA-regulated products from unauthorized foreign sources and receive them through the international mail system. Consumers and physicians purchasing medicines cannot be assured the products they are receiving are legitimate, safe or effective if they are obtained from outside of the FDA-regulated pharmaceutical supply chain…It is vital that we aggressively stop illicit products from entering the country that may place patients’ health at risk, and we are pleased to call the Government of India a partner in this effort.”

Articles & Resources

FDA Newsroom – FDA Takes Action with Indian Government to Protect Consumers From Illicit Medical Products

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

New York Times – Payout From a National Opioids Settlement Won’t Be as Big as Hoped

Bloomberg Government – Bankrupt Purdue Pharma Gets Court OK to Develop Overdose Drug

U.S. News and World Report – 1 in 4 Opioid ODs Involves Kids and Teens

Inside Health Policy – Behavioral Health Groups Ask Congress To Extend Mental Health Clinic Demo

Reuters – Few U.S. Residential Drug Rehabs Give Anti-Addiction Medicine

Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies – Consumer Advisory: Division of Insurance Cautions Life Insurers Regarding Naloxone Prescriptions

Department of Justice – Ohio Doctor Pleads Guilty to Unlawful Distribution of Opioids

White House Newsroom – White House Releases National Drug Interdiction Plan, Border Strategies

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania –  Co-Founder of Shuttered Bucks County Addiction Rehab Center Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee – West Tennessee Psychiatrist Found Guilty of Unlawfully Distributing Opioids

This Week’s Calendar

The House and Senate return from a brief recess this week. Heading squarely into a slew of appropriations-related meetings, members are slated for a busy week. There are no hearings noticed, as of this point, although we are anticipating a Feb. 27th hearing in the House Oversight Committee regarding ONDCP’s 2020 National Drug Control Strategy. Should there be any additions to House or Senate schedules or updates with respect to additional events, this information will be made available.

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