Bill Introduced to Extend Fentanyl-Related Substances Scheduling, Expand Research

Last week, Senator Cory Booker (NJ) introduced the Temporary Emergency Scheduling and Testing (TEST) of Fentanyl Analogues Act. The TEST Act will extend the temporary class-wide scheduling for an additional two years, require the Department of Justice to conduct a scientific and medical evaluation of fentanyl-related substances, and amend the Controlled Substances Act to enable faster evaluation and scheduling of fentanyl-related substances. The bill would also require that the Attorney General remove fentanyl-related substances with no potential for abuse from the schedule and publish the evaluations and recommendations for fentanyl-related substances that have already been tested, ease the registration requirements for researchers to study fentanyl-related substances, and authorize appropriations of $50,000,000 to the Department of Health and Human Services to evaluate fentanyl-related substances. In a statement, Senator Cory Booker said “A better approach driven by data, science, and medicine will save lives. My common-sense legislation supported by a broad spectrum of groups working to end the opioid crisis will extend temporary scheduling for two years while also requiring the same scientific evaluation of fentanyl analogues as other controlled substances, so we can understand their pharmacological effect and open up new, promising avenues to developing therapies that can combat addiction and the devastation it causes.” The temporary fentanyl-related substances class-wide scheduling policy expires on December 31st.

Articles & Resources

Senator Cory Booker – Booker Unites Broad Spectrum of Support Behind New Legislation Requiring Scientific and Medical Studies to Develop Treatments for Opioid Overdoses

Senate Defense Bill Includes Provisions to Address Opioid Trafficking

Last week, the Senate Armed Services Committee opened the Senate version of the Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization (NDAA) Act for debate. The bill includes several provisions that aim to address drug trafficking and the opioid epidemic. If passed, the bill would authorize into law Transnational Criminal Investigative Units to help identify drug dealers and collect and share intelligence on transnational criminal organizations, and would authorize $8 million for counternarcotics and activities to help address the flow of synthetic opioids into the United States. The House passed its version of the NDAA in July and the Senate plans to hold NDAA votes after it returns to session on November 14th.

Articles & Resources

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023

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.

American Hospital Association – Prioritizing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Needs with Hospital Corporation of America

Carolina Public Press – $1.8M in opioid response is coming to Cumberland County, and this is how officials plan to use it

Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster – Kuster Joins USDA Under Secretary Torres Small for Announcement of Significant Federal Investments in Health Care for Rural New Hampshire Communities

DEA – Major Seizure of Approximately 300,000 “Rainbow Fentanyl” Pills and Over 20 Pounds of Powdered Fentanyl in the Bronx

Department of Justice – Opioid Awareness Summit Helps Educators and Public Health Professionals Combat Opioid Misuse

FDA Law Blog – FDA Takes Another Small Step to Increase Naloxone Access

JAMA Network Open – Use of and Retention on Video, Telephone, and In-Person Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Kaiser Health News – Hospitals Have Been Slow to Bring On Addiction Specialists

Psychiatry Advisor – Naloxone Outreach Program Incorporating Pharmacy-Based Student Interns

Senator Shelley Moore Capito – Capito, Manchin Announce $44 Million to Fight Opioid Epidemic in West Virginia

Veteran’s Affairs – From pain and addiction to social worker… with help from VA

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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