President Biden Signs DEA Registration Revocation Bill Into Law

On August 6th, President Joseph Biden signed into law the Debarment Enforcement of Bad Actor Registrants (DEBAR) Act (PL 117-36). The law will authorize the Attorney General to 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.

Articles & Resources

DEBAR Act

The White House – Press Release: Bills Signed: H.R. 208, H.R. 264, H.R. 772, H.R. 1002


HHS-OIG Report Highlights Medicare Beneficiaries Opioid Use and Access to Treatment in 2020

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General recently published their report, Concerns Persist about Opioid Overdoses and Medicare Beneficiaries’ Access to Treatment and Overdose-Reversal Drugs. The report stems from OIG’s monitoring of opioid use disorder and access to treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, and summarizes the effects of the pandemic on opioid use, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and naloxone prescriptions in Medicare Part D beneficiaries in 2020. OIG found that over 43,000 beneficiaries had an opioid overdose and nearly 25% of beneficiaries received opioids. While the number of beneficiaries who received MAT increased, the growth rate compared to previous years was slow and there was no growth observed in the number of beneficiaries who received naloxone. OIG attributed these changes to the COVID-19 pandemic and suggested that patients may have been less likely to visit their providers during the pandemic, resulting in fewer opportunities for providers to discuss treatment options. To address potential access concerns, OIG also provides recommendations in their report for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue to educate both Part D beneficiaries and providers about opioid use disorder treatments and to monitor beneficiaries that receive treatments to ensure that access to MAT and naloxone increases in 2021 and beyond.

Articles & Resources

Report: Concerns Persist about Opioid Overdoses and Medicare Beneficiaries’ Access to Treatment and Overdose-Reversal Drugs


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

AHCCCS – Federal Grant Funds New Recovery Support Service in Phoenix

Associated Press – How COVID pandemic changed methadone treatment for addiction

Bloomberg Government – N.J.’s Booker Wants to Link Criminal Justice Revamp, Opioid Ban

Bloomberg Government – Opioid Billionaires Face Final Test of Deal to Avoid Liability

Bloomberg Government – Purdue Pharma Director Grilled on Proposed Opioid Settlement

CNN – Biden struggles to find a permanent FDA chief as agency nears approval of Covid-19 vaccine

JAMA Internal Medicine – Association of State Opioid Prescription Duration Limits With Changes in Opioid Prescribing for Medicare Beneficiaries

Law360 – $26B Opioid Deal Sparks ‘Turf Wars’ From Local Governments

Legal Reader – Nearly All Parties Agree with Deal, Purdue Announces

National Health Statistics Report – Prescription Opioid Use Among Adults With Chronic Pain: United States, 2019

New England Journal of Medicine – Racial Inequality in Prescription Opioid Receipt — Role of Individual Health Systems

New York AG Connection – Research Partnership Supports NYS Families Fighting Opioids

Pew Charitable Trusts – 2 Online Tools in Minnesota Help Policymakers Assess Effectiveness of Social Policy Programs

Representative Elise Stefanik – Stefanik Announces $1 Million Grant to Combat the Opioid Crisis

Representative Paul Gosar – Gosar Announces New Funding For Drug Treatment In Bullhead City

Representative Ted Budd – Rep. Ted Budd Sponsors Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment Act

Senator Dick Durban – Durbin: Big Pharma Must Be Held Accountable For Fueling The Opioid Crisis

Senator Sherrod Brown – Brown Announces $4 Million for Rural Communities Across Ohio

STAT – Harm-reduction programs acknowledge the difference between ‘do no harm’ and ‘protect from harm’

The Washington Post – A sheriff’s office posted a warning about fentanyl. It spread misinformation instead, experts say

The Washington Post – A Yale doctor is using a video game to fight the opioid crisis

The Washington Post – Affordable naloxone is running out, creating a perfect storm for more overdose deaths, activists say

University of Florida – New AI tool will predict patients at high risk for opioid use disorder and overdose

Vox – The pandemic changed the trajectory of America’s overdose and suicide crises


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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