House Passes Defense Bill with Provisions to Respond to the Opioid Crisis

Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) (H.R. 7900) in a 329-101 vote. The bill, which is passed annually, authorized $840 billion in defense spending for FY23 and includes priorities related to the opioid crisis, including the Fighting Emerging Narcotics Through Additional Nations to Yield Lasting (FENTANYL) Results Act. The FENTANYL Results Act would authorize the State Department to develop programs to support foreign law enforcement to detect synthetic drugs and create an exchange program for international drug demand reduction experts. In a statement, Congressman David Trone, who originally introduced the FENTANYL Results Act in April 2021, said “This year’s defense bill includes bipartisan initiatives to expand the talent pipeline and support a well-equipped military and civilian workforce. The bill also increases our capability to identify and penalize international drug trafficking rings, which have added dangerous, unregulated, and addictive fuel to America’s opioid epidemic. This defense funding will benefit Americans at home and abroad for generations – an effort we can all get behind.”

Articles & Resources

Congressman David Trone – Trone’s Bill to Combat Fentanyl Trafficking Included in Annual Defense Bill Supporting Service Members and America’s National Security

ONDCP Develops Recommendations for Telehealth for SUD

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) recently released their report, Telehealth and Substance Use Disorder Services in the Era of Covid-19: Review and Recommendations, which includes recommendations to increase access and utilization to telehealth for people with substance use disorders (SUD). The report summarizes the current laws and policies related to telehealth services and the benefits and limitations of telehealth for individuals with SUD, and outlines four recommendations for Congress, federal agencies, and providers to expand telehealth services. Recommendations include, providing federal support to encourage licensure reciprocity across states, permanently enacting and expanding public health emergency telehealth prescribing changes, increasing funding for mobile applications and assistive telehealth services, and considering the privacy and ethical implications of telehealth use. Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of ONDCP, said in a statement, “Through his Unity Agenda Strategy to beat the overdose epidemic, President Biden has made clear that this Administration will work to make it easier for people to access treatment and save lives. One way we can work to do that is by expanding telehealth services, a cost-effective way to increase access to care for vulnerable people with substance use disorder by meeting them where they are.” The report was developed in collaboration with the Legislative Analysis and Public Policy Association.

Articles & Resources

Telehealth and Substance Use Disorder Services in the Era of Covid-19: Review and Recommendations

The White House – ONDCP Announces Report on Improving Telehealth Services for Substance Use Disorder

What We Read Last Week

Bloomberg Government – West Virginia Officials to Appeal Opioid Lawsuit Decision

Congressman Larry Bucshon – Bucshon Visits CDC to Discuss Public Health Preparedness, Vaccines, and Opioids

Congressman Raúl Grijalva – It’s time to embrace real solutions for growing fentanyl dangers

DEA – Two Day Stretch in Omaha Nets 32,000 Fake Fentanyl Pills

JAMA Network Open – Patterns in Nonopioid Pain Medication Prescribing After the Release of the 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

Journal of Pain Research – Impact of Informed Consent and Education on Care Engagement After Opioid Initiation in the Veterans Health Administration

Rheumatology Advisor – DEA Los Angeles Field Division Makes Historic Seizure of Approximately 1 Million Fentanyl Pills

Senator John Boozman – Boozman, Fellow Senate Doctors Release Fentanyl Awareness PSA

The Hill – Prevention is our best — and most underrated — weapon against opioids

The Washington Post – Why you’re hearing so much about fentanyl these days

Today – What is harm reduction — and how can it help prevent overdose deaths?

U.S. Pharmacist – Assessing Substance Use Disorder in Pharmacy Practice

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.

Questions about the above content can be directed to [email protected].