President Biden Signs VA Disposal Bill into Law

On July 30th, President Joseph Biden signed into law the Dispose Unused Medications and Prescription (DUMP) Opioids Act (PL 117-29).  The Act will expand the availability of controlled substance drop boxes at VA medical centers so that all members of a community can use them for controlled substance disposal. The law will direct the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs to designate specific hours for the general public to use the disposal drop boxes, which will be available for veterans everyday starting January 1, 2022.

Articles & Resources

Senator John Kennedy – President signs Kennedy’s DUMP Opioids Act into law

Spectrum News – President Biden signs bills addressing opioid crisis into law

DEA Registration Revocation Bill Passes Both Chambers, Moves to the President’s Desk

On July 28th, the Senate unanimously passed the Debarment Enforcement of Bad Actor Registrants (DEBAR) Act. Representative Bob Latta (R-OH-05) introduced the bill in February and it passed the House of Representatives in April. The bill would permanently prohibit Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registrants, who have violated the Controlled Substance Act and have had their registrations revoked, from receiving a new registrations to manufacture, distribute and dispense controlled substances. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced companion legislation in April. In response to both chambers passing the bill, Senator Feinstein said, “our country’s opioid epidemic is fueled by individuals and organizations who abuse their authority to provide prescription drugs, especially pain medications. This bill would make it easier for the DEA to prevent anyone who loses their registration to manufacture, distribute or dispense these drugs due to misconduct from reapplying for this authority in the future. I’m glad that Congress has passed it and look forward to the president signing it. This will save lives.”

Articles & Resources


Senator Dianne Feinstein – Feinstein, Cornyn Bill to Stop Chemical Companies, Pharmacies Who Break Rules from Selling Controlled Substances Heads to President’s Desk

House Passes Minibus Appropriations Package

On July 29th, by a vote of 219-208, the House of Representatives passed a seven-bill minibus spending package that includes increases in funding for several initiatives within the Department of Health and Human Services that address the opioid epidemic. These opioid-related provisions include $5.5 billion for substance use treatment, $2.8 billion for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants, $2 billion for State Opioid Response Grants, $136.5 million for Medication Assisted Treatment, $49 billion for the National Institutes of Mental Health, $34 million for the Mental and Substance Abuse Disorder Workforce Training Demonstration Program, $2 million for the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the link between opioids and suicide rates, and an increase of $2 million for grants preventing prescription drug overdoses.

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Representative Vern Buchanan – U.S. House Passes Three Buchanan Measures

Representative Antonio Delgado – House Passes Federal Funding Package with Rep. Delgado-Led Initiatives to Deliver Broadband, Improve Child Care, Bolster Lyme Disease Research, and Support Farmers

Representative David Trone – House Passes Government Funding Bills that Include Nearly $6 Million for Maryland’s Sixth District and Major Funding Increases for Programs to Fight Opioid Epidemic, Support NIH

SAMHSA Announces $250 Million in Grants Directed to Substance Use Programs

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced that it has awarded 100 grants, totaling $250 million, through their Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) Expansion Grants program. The grants will improve access and quality of community-based mental health and substance used disorder treatment programs at existing CCBHCs and will support the expansion of services at new clinics. The $250 million in funding includes $115 million from COVID relief funds, $77 million from American Rescue Plan funds, and $58 million from appropriations funds. In a press release, Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and leader of SAMHSA, said “the ability to provide coordinated and centralized care—including crisis intervention along with substance use disorder and mental health services—was crucial before the COVID-19 pandemic. The urgency to connect Americans to such easy-to-access treatment and services has increased exponentially since. The addition of the American Rescue Plan and COVID-related funding will contribute significantly to increasing opportunities for recovery from mental health and substance use problems by improving access to certified community behavioral health clinics, as well the level of care they deliver.” A list of awardees can be found here.

Articles & Resources

HHS – SAMHSA Awards $250 Million to 100 Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers to Improve Community Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Treatment Services

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

AP News – Trial against opioid distributors wraps up in West Virginia

Bloomberg Government – States, Cities Eye $26 Billion Deal: Opioid Litigation Explained

Congresswoman Carol Miller – Congresswoman Miller Adds Additional $1 Million for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Research to 2022 Federal Budget

Emergent BioSolutions – Reverse the Silence Campaign Casts a National Spotlight on Overdose Risks Associated with Opioid Use

Kaiser Health News – As Holdout Missouri Joins Nation in Monitoring Opioid Prescriptions, Experts Worry

Law360 – 4 Key Details As Opioid Liability Trial Concludes In Calif.

Law360 – McKinsey Sued For Opioid Effect On W. Virginia Addicts’ Kids

Mayo Clinic – Emergency department visits related to opioid overdoses up significantly during COVID-19 pandemic

MSNBC – ‘It’s a disease of despair’: Fmr. California Rep. Mary Bono on opioid addiction

NIH – High-dose buprenorphine for opioid withdrawal

NPR – Was It ‘Reasonable’ To Ship 81 Million Opioid Pills To This Small West Virginia City?

Raiders Wire – Raiders TE Darren Waller launches campaign to combat opioid overdoses

Senator Tammy Baldwin – Baldwin, Blumenthal, Colleagues Send Letter Opposing Purdue Pharma’s Request For Employee Bonuses In Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan Amid Ongoing Opioid Epidemic

Senator Warren – Warren, Nadler, Durbin, Blumenthal, Maloney Announce Legislation to Eliminate Non-Debtor Releases, Prevent Corporations and Private Entities From Escaping Accountability In Bankruptcy Proceedings

STAT – States could get billions from opioid lawsuits. They have to decide how to spend it

Yale News – U.S. clinics slower to provide opioid treatment than Canadian clinics

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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