Registration Reminder! CEPOP-MAPDA Webinar Series on the Confluence of COVID-19 and the Opioid Epidemic

CEPOP and MAPDA stakeholders are encouraged to circulate links to the registration portal for the upcoming policy webinar series focused on the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and national opioid epidemic. Recognizing impacts felt from the COVID-19 pandemic across the topics noted below, the webinars will aim to foster more effective and sustainable policy action.

Updates on anticipated session speakers and agendas will be shared later this week. For additional information or to register for the series, please visit our event page.

As a recap, the topics to be covered over the course of five weeks (beginning July 20th) include:

  • Monday, July 20th (3:00pm – 4:00pm): Digital Health Interventions and Telemedicine
    During the COVID-19 pandemic, new or revised authorities and technologies are being leveraged to help ensure continuity and availability of evidence-based care for the treatment of pain and substance use disorders. How is this being implemented throughout the nation?
  • Monday, July 27th (3:30pm – 4:30pm): Policy Changes to Medication-Assisted Treatment
    To address stay-at-home and self-isolation policies, federal regulators have expanded take-home opportunities for MAT prescriptions as well as initiation of new treatment modalities. This webinar will explore the new framework and its active integration into the current care paradigm. Please note the slight change in timing for this webinar to account for the July 2020 CEPOP All-Participants Teleconference.
  • Monday, August 10th (3:00pm – 4:00pm): Addressing Access and Utilization of Opioid Overdose Reversal Medications
    Recognizing the changes in prescribing policy and availability for prescription opioids and medication-assisted treatment, there remains an increasingly important need for access to overdose reversal medications. The panel will discuss options for improving this condition and preventing unnecessary overdoses.
  • Monday, August 17th (3:00pm – 4:00pm): Addressing Excess Medications in the Home
    With the primary point of care now being in the home, additional considerations should be given to addressing and mitigating the risk of excess controlled substances. How do SUPPORT Act and other authorities enable this element of the response?

Please reach out to Matt Rubin with any questions, follow-up or series speaker suggestions!

White House Issues Unified Agenda for 2021

On Tuesday evening, the White House Office of Management and Budget released its Unified Agenda that outlines the key regulatory and policy changes forthcoming via formal rulemaking processes. Within the list of several hundred priorities, several remain relevant for working to address the opioid epidemic. However, the Administration has simply rolled over many of these items from prior Unified Agenda including a final rule from SAMHSA regarding 42 CFR Part 2 and proposed role on OTP accreditation, CMS review of electronic prescribing for controlled substances, several rules from the DEA on suspicious orders and mobile MAT programs, and a proposed rule from the Department of Veteran Affairs around elimination of copayments for opioid antagonists and creation of a more robust education campaign.

Articles & Resources

White House Office of Management and Budget – Unified Agenda (Agency Rule List –  2021)

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

Health Affairs – Expanding Access To Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder: The Pandemic Presents A Learning Opportunity

Brookings Institute – State Approaches to Tackling the Opioid Crisis Through the Health Care System

Inside Health Policy – SUPPORT Act Guidance Still Missing Months After CMS Promised E&C

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Toomey Measure to Crack Down on Fentanyl Imports Moves Forward in Senate

CNN – Rehab in Paradise: Western Addicts Head to Thailand to Detox

Harvard Health – Brain Plasticity in Drug Addiction: Burden and Benefit

Law360 – Pharmacies Urge 6th Circ. to Boot Opioid MDL Judge

ABC News – The Pain Management Revolution Amid Coronavirus and the Opioid Crisis

Denver Post – In First Veto of 2020, Colorado Gov. Polis Rejects Bill to Curb Opioid Addiction

PA Governor’s Newsroom – Gov. Wolf: More Than $2 Million in Grants for Employment Services for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder

AHRQ Views – Expanding Telehealth and Telementoring During COVID-19: AHRQ’s Expertise Helps Identify Next Steps

HHS Newsroom – HHS Announces New Organ Transplant Guidance

Federal Register (AHRQ) – “Opioid Management in Older Adults”

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California – Alameda Resident Pleads Guilty To Illegally Importing Narcotics

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia – Opioid Manufacturer Indivior’s Chief Executive Officer Pleads Guilty in Connection with Drug Safety Claims

This Week’s Calendar

While the House of Representatives will be busy this week with a slew of FY2021 Appropriations markups, including the Agriculture-FDA subcommittee on Monday afternoon and Labor-HHS subcommittee on Tuesday afternoon, there are no relevant hearings or markups scheduled at this time. In the instance that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

Questions about the above content can be directed to [email protected].