CEPOP 2021 Strategy Session Schedule for January 26

Looking to the year ahead, CEPOP will host its annual 2021 Strategy Session on Tuesday, January 26th (3:30pm – 5:00pm ET). The 90-minute session will use a similar cadence to CEPOP’s standing monthly calls leading with a focus topic speaker presentation followed by a robust conversation around core advocacy and policy priorities that address the continued evolution of the nation’s opioid epidemic and impacts by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given recent reports by CDC and other federal agency partners, CEPOP’s work will remain critically important throughout 2021 as rates of substance misuse/abuse and overdose continue to spike.

Please let Matthew Rubin or Marcy Harrison know of any questions regarding to scheduling.

CEPOP All-Participant WebEx Information

To join via WebEx, please click here.

To join via telephone, please use:

  • Conference Line: (855) 244-8681
  • Participant Code: 299 037 708
  • Mobile Friendly: 855-244-8681,,299037708#

NSDUH Data Analysis Finds Parental Opioid Use, Not Misuse, Tied to Adolescent Misuse

Following a review of 15,200 parent-child dyads from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, researchers from Columbia University sought to identify any perceived linkage between parental opioid use or misuse and the impacts on adolescent (12-17 years) use and misuse. Data analysis found that parental prescription opioid use (legitimate) was linked with both adolescent use and misuse. There was no statistically significant impact of parental misuse on their offspring.

The data indicates that for those with a parent legitimately using prescription opioids, 18.6% of adolescents used opioids legitimately. Only 14.3% of adolescents used prescription opioids when a parent either misused opioids or did not use opioids at all. Approximately 4.1% of adolescents misused opioids with a parent who legitimately used the medication, 4.9% with parents who misused opioids and 2.6% for those whose parents did not use. Additional factors that increased prescription opioid misuse include parental smoking, benzodiazepine use/misuse, stimulant use, marijuana use or other illicit narcotics.

Leveraging these results, the authors suggest greater efforts to educate both physicians and patients are safe medication use, storage and disposal to reduce the availability of unneeded or unwanted prescription opioids.

Articles & Resources

JAMA Network Open – Assessment of Prescription Opioid Medical Use and Misuse Among Parents and Their Adolescent Offspring in the US

Justice Department Sues Walmart Over Role in Opioid Crisis

The Department of Justice announced last month that it had filed a civil complaint against national retailer Walmart for its alleged role in the nation’s opioid epidemic through improper controlled substance oversight and dispensation. According to the DOJ complaint, the actions taken by Walmart with respect to opioids led to “hundreds of thousands of violations of the Controlled Substances Act.”

The federal government alleges that Walmart knowingly filled thousands of controlled substance prescriptions that they knew to be for illegitimate, non-medical use. On top of the alleged lax oversight around dispensing controlled substances within the pharmacy, it is alleged that the company also failed to report hundreds of thousands of suspicious order reports through its warehouses.

According to some reporting conducted by NPR, linked below, pharmacists and others employed by Walmart acknowledged efforts to raise concerns with superiors and other senior staff at headquarters around such practices. Amid the red flags raised by Walmart pharmacists, reports indicate that the dangerous prescribing, which was alleged to fuel the opioid crisis, continued.

Each violation of the CSA could result in a civil monetary penalty of nearly $70,000 which would potentially translate into a multi-billion dollar payout.

Articles & Resources

DOJ Newsroom – Department of Justice Files Nationwide Lawsuit Against Walmart Inc. for Controlled Substances Act Violations

Wall Street Journal – U.S. Sues Walmart, Alleging Role in Fueling Opioid Crisis

Bloomberg – Walmart Accused in U.S. Lawsuit of Fueling Opioid Crisis

NPR – Former Walmart Pharmacists Say Company Ignored Red Flags As Opioid Sales Boomed

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

JAMA Psychiatry – The Hidden Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Law360 – DOJ Misled Court About Planned Opioid Suit, Walmart Says

Wall Street Journal – Opioid Use Hits Construction Industry as Overdoses Soar

Los Angeles Times – The Powerful Synthetic Opioid Fentanyl is Behind the Rising Deaths in the Homeless Population

CNBC – Insurer Centene to Buy Magellan in $2.2 Billion Mental Health Push

Pink Sheet – Growing Pains for US FDA Oversight of Opioids: Starting Over on Assessment of REMS

Pink Sheet – Is the Opioid REMS Too Big To Study?

Washingtonian – What Happened After I Tried to Adopt an Opioid-Dependent Baby. Twice.

Vanderbilt School of Engineering Vanderbilt Civil Engineer Partners with TDOT to Seek Ways to Mitigate Opioid Epidemic

Texas Health and Human Services – Texas Launches Opioid Misuse Prevention Website to Fight Addiction, Overdoses

White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator – Annual Intellectual Property Report to Congress (January 2021)

U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska – Anchorage Doctor Sentenced For Prescribing Medically Unnecessary Opioids In Health Care Fraud Scheme

U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey – Camden County man Admits Trafficking in Oxycodone Pills

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin – Fond Du Lac Psychiatrist and Nurse Indicted for Unlawful Distribution of Controlled Substances

This Week’s Calendar – Welcome to 2021 and the 117th Congress

In the week ahead, there are no relevant events or hearings noticed at this time. In the instance that there are any changes to the schedule for this week, we will make additional information available.

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