Prescription Drug Disposal Legislation Introduced

Last week, Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), Alex X. Mooney (R-WV-02), Annie Kuster (D-NH-02), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), and Susan Wild (D-PA-07) introduced the Safe Disposal of Opioids Act. The bill would establish a grant program to place nearly 10,000 prescription drug disposal bins in community pharmacies and healthcare centers across the United States. The grant program would be funded through fees on prescription opioids, and would also establish a rebate program to ensure that the costs of the fees are not passed to hospice or cancer patients. In a press release, Representative Bonamici said, “we must make it easier to dispose of these addictive medications to take them out of homes and minimize the risk of loved ones and others getting hurt. The bipartisan Safe Disposal of Opioids Act is commonsense legislation that will put disposal bins in locations that are safe and familiar to patients, like the pharmacy where they picked up their prescription.”

Articles & Resources

Representative Suzanne Bonamici – Bonamici, Mooney Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Make Safe Opioid Disposal Easier

Senators Request Information from FDA on Past Work between CDER and Consulting Firm

Last week, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock requesting information about the agency’s past work with consulting firm McKinsey & Company (McKinsey) and the potential conflicts of interest stemming from McKinsey’s work with opioid manufacturers regulated by FDA. In their letter, the lawmakers noted that McKinsey was working with the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), a division tasked with approving prescription opioids, and carrying out work for opioid manufacturers and distributors at the same time. The lawmakers request that, by September 20th, FDA send them documentation of FDA’s process to check for conflicts of interest, FDA’s current relationship with McKinsey, and all conflicts of interest disclosures McKinsey provided FDA, including communications about when FDA became aware of McKinsey having opioid-related clients.

Articles & Resources

Senator Joe Manchin – Manchin Calls on FDA to Provide Answers on Potential Conflicts of Interest with Consulting Firm McKinsey in Relation to Opioid Crisis

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

ACS – ‘Flushing’ out drug use trends early in the COVID-19 pandemic

Arkansas Business – UAMS Researchers Get $2.5M for Opioid Abuse-Fighting App

Bloomberg Law – Covid Sets Stage for Biden to Tackle Addiction Treatment Access

Health Affairs – Defending Syringe Services Programs

JAMA – The Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative of the National Institutes of Health

NPR – Many ERs Fail People Who Struggle With Addiction. These New Approaches Might Help

Psychology Today – Why Overdose Awareness Matters More Than Ever

RAND Corporation – Three Essays on the Broader Effects of the Opioid Crisis

Representative Glenn Thompson – Thompson Announces $1 Million Grant for Penn Highlands Dubois Regional Medical Center

Representative Madeleine Dean – Congresswoman Madeleine Dean leads a letter to Extend the Opioid Disaster Declaration

Senator Dick Durban – Durbin, Duckworth Announce Federal Grants For Three Rural EMS Agencies In Illinois

Senator Maggie Hassan – Senators Hassan, Grassley, and Whitehouse Lead Call to FDA to Provide Answers on Potential Conflicts of Interest with Consulting Firm McKinsey in Relation to Opioid Crisis

Technology Networks – A Potentially Safer Approach To Develop Opioid Drugs

The Washington Post – A program tried to cut opioid addiction among veterans. Did it cause suicides?

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission – Illicit Fentanyl from China: An Evolving Global Operation

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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