Join Us TODAY for CEPOP-MAPDA Webinar on Overdose Reversal Access During COVID-19

Later this afternoon, CEPOP and MAPDA will host the third webinar focused on the confluence of the opioid epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic. At 3:00pm ET, we’ll hear from a panel of nationally-recognized leaders around their efforts to expand access and utilization of naloxone to address opioid overdose. Joining us this afternoon will be:

  • The Honorable Dave Joyce (OH-14), U.S. House of Representatives
  • Kemp L. Chester, Assistant Director of the National Opioids and Synthetics Coordination Group, Office of National Drug Control Policy, Executive Office of the President
  • Marta Sokolowska, Ph.D., Associate Director for Controlled Substances, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • State Representative Deborah Conroy (IL-46), Illinois State Assembly
  • Tim Fensky, RPh, DPh, FACA, President, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • The Honorable Mary Bono (Moderator), CEPOP Co-Convener and MAPDA Chairman and CEO

Thank you to all CEPOP participants and allies who have helped make the first two sessions so successful and ensured a robust turnout from these important discussions. Following today’s session, CEPOP and MAPDA will wrap up the webinar series next Monday, August 17th, with a robust discussion around safe disposal and excess medications in the home.

Recordings of the first two sessions, along with additional information, is available on the CEPOP website. For additional information, to register, or view on-demand recordings of the first two events, please visit the event page.

The final two webinars will focus on the following topics:

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.

EEOC Provides Clarification to Employers Around Opioids

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced this week the release of two technical assistance guides that aim to help provide further clarification for employers and healthcare providers around treatment of opioid use under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The first of the two documents outlines for employees their protection for disability discrimination for legitimate, lawful use of opioid medications, MAT or that are in active recovery. The second document provides additional information for healthcare providers to better counsel their patients’ rights within the workplace and related documentation.

Articles & Resources

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – EEOC Releases Technical Assistance Documents on Opioid Addiction and Employment

LINK – Use of Codeine, Oxycodone, and Other Opioids: Information for Employees

LINK – How Health Care Providers Can Help Current and Former Patients Who Have Used Opioids Stay Employed

NQF to Launch New Committee with Focus on Mental Health, Opioid Use Disorder

The National Quality Forum, in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, has announced the creation of a multi-stakeholder expert committee focused on polysubstance abuse and co-occurring behavioral health (BH) diagnoses. Focused primarily on synthetic opioids such as fentanyl (referred to as SSSO), the committee will be focused on identifying particular gaps and priorities in the national response to the opioid epidemic and related healthcare quality challenges.

According to the nomination portal, the committee will:

  • Provide guidance on the environmental scan of current measures and measure concepts related to polysubstance use involving SSSO among individuals with co-occurring BH conditions;
  • Identify and prioritize measure gaps in quality measurement to inform future measure development efforts; and
  • Develop a measure framework addressing the use of polysubstance involving SSSO among individuals with co-occurring BH conditions in federal programs.
    The nomination period to the Opioids and Behavioral Health Committee will remain open through 6:00pm ET on Tuesday, August 18th. Additional information can be found in this PDF.

Articles & Resources

NQF – Opioids and Behavioral Health Committee

LINK – Call for Nominations

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

Washington Post – One Doctor Is Working to Fight D.C.’s Opioid Epidemic, Even as a Pandemic Rages

Boston Globe – Another Pandemic Fallout: Deaths from Accidental Drug Overdoses are Soaring in Rhode Island

Morning Consult – The Challenge in Accessing Non-Opioid Pain Management Approaches

Colorado Public Radio – Fentanyl and Meth Fuel Record Colorado Overdose Deaths Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Cleveland Plain Dealer – Akron Father Files Suit Against Chinese Drug Supplier Over Son’s Fentanyl Overdose Death

New York Times – Using Telemedicine to Treat Opioid Addiction

Law360 – Pharmacies Can’t Dodge Ohio Opioid MDL’s 2021 Bellwether

Senator Warren Newsroom – Warren, Maloney, Porter Ask Behavioral Health and Addiction Treatment Facilities What Actions They Are Taking to Protect Residents from COVID-19 Outbreaks

FDA Newsroom – FDA Approves New Opioid for Intravenous Use in Hospitals, Other Controlled Clinical Settings

Government Accountability Office – Opioid Use Disorder: Treatment with Injectable and Implantable Buprenorphine

Government Accountability Office – Substance Use Disorder: Medicaid Coverage of Peer Support Services for Adults

Federal Register – Management of Acute and Chronic Pain: Opportunity for Stakeholder Engagement  (REMINDER: Deadline for Submission is August 21st at 5:00pm ET)

Department of Health and Human Services – HHS Awards Over $101 Million to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Department of Justice – American Darknet Vendor and Costa Rican Pharmacist Charged with Narcotics and Money Laundering Violations

U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts – Lexington Doctor and Office Manager Indicted in International Money Laundering Scheme Involving Non-Approved Drugs

U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California – Doctor Among 10 Facing Federal Drug Trafficking Charges Related to Distribution of Opioids Through Bogus Pain Clinics Across SoCal

This Week’s Calendar

As Congressional leadership continues to develop a comprehensive coronavirus response, the House and Senate are both in recess this week subject to a 24-hour recall for any potential vote. At this time, no opioid-related hearings or events are 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].