CDC Presentation on Overdose Data during CEPOP July All-Participants Call at 3PM Eastern

CEPOP will be hosting its June All-Participants Teleconference this afternoon at 3:00pm ET. This month’s meeting will include a presentation by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about their recently released data on overdose deaths and a presentation by SAFE Project about their upcoming public affairs campaign collaboration with Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, and Shatterproof.

CEPOP All-Participants Teleconference (July 2021)

  • To join WebEx, please CLICK HERE
  • Or, to join via conference call:
    • Conference Line: (855) 244-8681
    • Participant Code: 299 655 082

Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Bills to Address Substance Use and Overdose Deaths

On July 21st, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce advanced sixteen bipartisan health care bills to the full House of Representatives via voice vote, including several bills supporting states and cities as they address the opioid epidemic.

  • Drug-Free Communities Pandemic Relief Act (H.R. 654), waiving the matching requirement for Drug-Free Communities program grantees during the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 2379), authorizing funding for the State Opioid Response Grant program and requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess state funding allocations;
  • Synthetic Opioid Danger Awareness Act (H.R. 2364), requiring Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and implement a campaign educating the public about synthetic opioids, and requiring the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to develop materials about synthetic opioid exposure for first responders;
  • Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2021 (H.R. 2355), directing agencies to develop and disseminate education materials for pharmacists on how to verify the identities of patients with opioid prescriptions.

Articles & Resources

House Committee on Energy and Commerce – Pallone Applauds Committee Passage of 16 Bipartisan Health Care Bills

Lawmakers Question Administration Officials During Hearing on Drug Overdoses

On July 20th, the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held the Federal Response to the Drug Overdose Epidemic hearing, which featured testimony from Biden Administration officials including Regina LaBelle, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Tom Coderre, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. During the hearing, lawmakers questioned officials about medication-assisted treatment, fentanyl analogues, and opioid trafficking on the dark web. When asked about the specific actions ONDCP is taking to address fentanyl analogue trafficking, Director LaBelle said “there are many things that we’re doing, including working with the global network of fentanyl trafficking. So, working with China about precursor chemicals, working with the Mexican government and our Drug Enforcement Administration partners to make sure that fentanyl is not coming over the border, that they are disrupting labs that are happening in Mexico. So, it is a complex issue that involves many more agencies than just ONDCP.” A link to a recording of the hearing can be found here.

Articles & Resources

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control to Hold Hearing on Federal Response to the Drug Overdose Epidemic

Senator Maggie Hassan – Senator Hassan Presses Top Administration Officials on the Substance Use Disorder Crisis

Bloomberg Government – Fentanyl Deaths Fuel Pressure on Biden to Toughen Enforcement

J&J, Opioid Distributors Offer State Attorneys General $26 Billion Settlement Deal

Last Wednesday, a group of 15 state attorneys general announced a tentative settlement agreement with Johnson & Johnson and three opioid distributors, AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson. The deal would require that the opioid distributors pay the bulk of the settlement – $21 billion over 18 years – while Johnson & Johnson would be required to pay $5 billion over nine years to resolve claims that the company illegally marketed opioids. Johnson & Johnson would also be permanently prohibited from manufacturing and selling opioids and AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson would be required to create and fund an opioid dose clearinghouse that tracks opioid doses and alerts drug regulators to suspicious opioid orders. The money from the settlement is expected to fund opioid treatment, prevention, and education programs, and advocacy groups are urging state governments to sign principals that would further guide how funds should be allocated. The next step towards an agreement, and for payments to begin, is for 48 of states and a majority of cities and counties to agree to the proposed offer.

Articles & Resources

The Washington Post – Tentative opioid deal would provide $26 billion and a new way to regulate painkillers

Bloomberg Government – Experts: Spend Opioid Settlement Funds on Fighting Opioids

Law360 – Despite Fanfare, $26B Opioid Offer Far From Finish Line

Reuters– U.S. state officials urge support for landmark $26 bln opioid settlement

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

Bloomberg – J&J, Distributors Reach Settlement With States Over Opioids

Bloomberg Government – Sharp Rise in Drug Overdose Deaths Fuels House Bipartisanship

FDA – Drug Disposal: FDA’s Flush List for Certain Medicines

FDA – Having Naloxone on Hand Can Save a Life During an Opioid Overdose

Forbes – Hiding in Plain Sight: A Father’s Journey With Addiction, Loss And Forgiveness

Law360 – Drug Distributors Strike $1.1B Opioid Deal, Exit NY Trial

National Governor’s Association – State Of The States Opioid Survey And Analysis

Senator Maggie Hassan – Senator Hassan Discusses Importance of Broadening Access to Substance Use Disorder Treatment

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse – ICYMI: Whitehouse Chairs Hearing on Federal Response to Drug Overdose Epidemic

STAT – In the same health system, Black patients are prescribed fewer opioids than white patients

The Chicago Tribune – ‘The workforce that’s returning is not the same’: As employees return to offices, they may bring new addictions with them

The Hill – DOJ objects to Purdue bankruptcy settlement

The Hill – Philadelphia pushes back against national opioid settlement: ‘This is a sellout’

The Pew Charitable Trusts – Opioid Treatment Programs: A Key Treatment System Component

The Washington Post – How can the U.S. reduce drug overdose deaths? A wide range of ideas awaits Biden.

Time – 2020 Saw a Scary Increase in U.S. Drug Overdoses. We Must Take National Action to Help Communities at Risk

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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