Senate Judiciary Committee Leader Urges Acting ONDCP Director to Include Opioid Policies in ONDCP National Strategy

Following an invitation by the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Acting Director Regina LaBelle, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), sent a letter to the drug czar requesting that ONDCP adopt several drug enforcement, prevention, and treatment recommendations into the office’s National Drug Control Strategy. ONDCP is a component of the Executive Office of the President and is responsible for coordinating federal drug policy. The head of ONDCP—often referred to as the “Drug Czar”—runs the office and reports to the President. In the letter, Senator Grassley highlighted the need for ONDCP to permanently schedule fentanyl related substances and consider holistic approaches that address prevention, enforcement, and treatment. In a press release, Senator Grassley said “From border seizures to criminal justice reform to opioid controls, the strategies and policies we adopt to combat America’s multi-drug crisis will have a significant impact on public safety and families. In Iowa and across the country, we’ve lost too many people to overdose deaths, addiction and drug-related crime. I’m glad the administration asked for my input on the national strategy, and urge them to include these recommendations and implement them as soon as possible.”

Articles & Resources

Senator Chuck Grassley – Grassley Pushes Acting Drug Czar to Include Policies to Combat Overdoses, Crime in National Drug Strategy

Senator Grassley Letter to ONDCP

Several State Attorneys General Agree to Move Forward with Purdue Pharma Settlement Plan

Last Wednesday, fifteen states that were previously opposed to Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy reorganization plan decided to support the plan, opening the door to finalizing a $4.5 billion settlement. Under the plan, members of the Sackler family will pay the settlement over the next decade in exchange for liability release, give up ownership of Purdue Pharma, remain barred from any opioid-related business ventures, and be required to pay the entirety of their opioid debts before making charitable gifts and seeking naming rights to institutions such as hospitals and museums. The settlement also requires Purdue Pharma to release internal company documents into a public repository. The fifteen states that have supported the plan include Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin have signed onto the plan. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont Washington, and the District of Columbia are still opposed to proposed plan.

Articles & Resources

The New York Times – 15 States Reach a Deal with Purdue Pharma, Advancing a $4.5 Billion Opioids Settlement

NPR – 15 States Drop Opposition to Controversial Purdue Pharma OxyContin Bankruptcy

The Washington Post – Sackler family moves closer to OxyContin settlement as key states drop opposition

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

CU Anschutz – New Study Explores Opioid Prescribing Preferences and Practices Among Residents and Faculty

DEA – Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty Three Years After Victim’s Overdose Death

FDA – Timeline of Selected FDA Activities and Significant Events Addressing Opioid Misuse and Abuse

Forbes – President Biden Proposes ARPA-H, New $6.5 Billion Health Entity To Transform How Research Is Done

House Committee on Oversight and Reform – Maloney, DeSaulnier Issue Statement on Additional States Reaching a Settlement with Purdue Pharma

JAMA Internal Medicine – Comparison of Spending on Common Generic Drugs by Medicare vs Costco Members

JAMA Pediatrics – Temporal Trends in Opioid Prescribing Practices in Children, Adolescents, and Younger Adults in the US From 2006 to 2018 – Governor Hogan Announces Launch of $72 Million Maternal and Child Health Care Initiative

Rand Corporation – How to Integrate Pharmacotherapy for Substance Use Disorders at Your Mental Health Clinic

Rand Corporation – Medication Management of Co-Occurring Opioid Use Disorder in Mental Health Settings

Representative French Hill – ICYMI: Rep. French Hill and Kirk Lane in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette: “Fight Addiction”

Senator Ben Cardin – Rep. Trone, Senators Cardin, Van Hollen secure $1 million to combat opioid crisis

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – Cobb County to serve as test case for national pharmacies being tried for opioid crisis

The New York Times – 15 States Reach a Deal With Purdue Pharma, Moving Toward a $4.5 Billion Opioids Settlement

The Pew Charitable Trusts – How Indiana Is Working to Improve Access to Opioid Treatment Programs Across the State

The Public’s Radio – How Rhode Island became the first state to approve supervised drug-injection centers

The Washington Post – Fatal opioid overdoses are up by the hundreds, devastating families and worrying officials

The Washington Post – Two young women died of opioid overdoses weeks apart. Their mothers are speaking out

U.S. Department of Labor – US Department of Labor Awards $1.9m Grant to Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to Provide Employment, Training In Response To Opioid Crisis

This Week’s Calendar

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

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