FDA Commissioner Outlines Agency Priorities to Address Drug Use and Overdoses

On August 22nd, Dr. Robert Califf, Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the Food and Drug Administration, published a Viewpoint in the Journal of the American Medical Association outlining the agency’s collaborative approach to ensuring better health outcomes through the creation of “a system that benefits from abundant high-quality evidence in a transparent environment while working together with the US biomedical ecosystem.” To address drug use and overdoses, FDA will prioritize improving access to naloxone and prescriber education, developing novel therapies for substance use disorder and pain management, and considering the risks associated with misuse, abuse, substance use disorder, unintentional exposure, and overdose in their opioids benefit-risk assessments. In the Viewpoint, Dr. Califf also emphasized the role of the clinician, citing that “renewed commitment, focus, and investment from the clinical community directed toward substance use disorders and nonaddictive pain treatments” is an important component to preventing misuse and overdose deaths.

Articles & Resources

JAMA – The FDA and the Clinical Community

DEA Supports National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day Efforts

On August 21st, the Drug Enforcement Administration joined the Alexander Neville Foundation, Blue Plaid Society, Facing Fentanyl, Voices for Awareness, V.O.I.D., and other organizations to recognize the inaugural National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day. According to the CDC, an estimated 67 percent of the 107,622 drug overdose deaths and poisonings in 2021 involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In response, DEA offices across the country committed to partnering with groups dedicated to preventing fentanyl poisoning to educate the public on the dangers of fentanyl and increase awareness of illicit drugs containing fentanyl. DEA also created a special exhibit for its museum, The Faces of Fentanyl, to commemorate the lives lost from fentanyl poisoning. In a press release, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said, “Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered. From large cities to rural America, no community is safe from the presence of fentanyl. DEA is proud to work with families who have been affected by fentanyl poisonings to spread the word and to save lives.”

Articles & Resources

DEA – DEA Recognizes National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day

What We Read Last Week

Several articles were published last week pertaining to the opioid epidemic, covering a variety of different components of the topic. Links to relevant articles are provided below.

Clinical Pain Advisor – What Policy Changes Could Help Save Lives from Illicit Synthetic Opioids Overdose?

Dermatology Advisor – Patient Navigator Services May Help Decrease Opioid Consumption, Pain Scores

Health IT Analytics – Most Drug Overdose Patients Not Tested for Fentanyl, Synthetic Opioids

medRxiv – An Analysis of Patterns of Distribution of Buprenorphine in the United States using ARCOS, Medicaid, and Medicare Databases

NAHB – New Opioid Resources Available to Construction Workers

Pharmacy Times – Opioid Prescription Trends Show Decline in Use for Cancer, Noncancer Pain

Representative Ted Bud – Rep. Ted Budd Announces $625,000 Grant To Rowan County To Fight Drug Abuse

Senator Ron Johnson – Sen. Johnson Recognizes Wisconsin Mother Advocating for Fentanyl Overdose Awareness, Securing Southern Border

The Legal Action Center – The Cost of Adding Substance Use Disorder Services and Professionals to Medicare

USC – ‘Nudges’ to Reduce Opioid Overuse Also Decrease Inappropriate Benzodiazepine Prescriptions

VA – DC VA helps Veterans break drug addictions

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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