CEPOP Convenes Listening Session with FDA on Safe Opioid Medication Disposal

On January 19th, CEPOP and representatives from the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research convened a virtual listening session on safe opioid medication disposal strategies. The session included perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders who have direct experience with both the risks of medication diversion and the benefits of effective approaches to motivate and enable safe disposal by individuals. CEPOP participants included CEPOP co-conveners The Honorable Mary Bono and General Barrye Price, parent advocate Jodi Barber, Tyler Varisco from the University of Houston, Judi Lund Person from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Mercer County Commissioner Greg Puckett, Mary Kate Haug from Southern Plains Tribal Health, Darryl Brake from the Summit County Community Partnership, and Kelly Juleson-Scopino from the Governor’s Prevention Partnership. Participants shared their on-the-ground perspectives on strategies that work and how they are contributing to preventing diversion and abuse, as well as the downstream risks of dependence, addiction, and overdose.

CDC Publishes Findings on Opioid Prescribing Trends

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics published a data brief comparing opioid prescribing patterns for adult patients at discharge from emergency departments from 2017 to 2020. Using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, CDC estimated that the percentage of emergency department visits with an opioid prescribed at discharge declined from 12.2% in 2017–2018 to 8.1% in 2019–2020. The data also suggest a decrease in prescribing in 2019–2020 among non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black adults compared with 2017–2018. This data brief builds off of two data briefs published in 2016 and 2020 and indicate a nearly decade-long decreasing trend in opioid prescribing within the emergency department setting.

Articles & Resources

CDC – Opioids Prescribed to Adults at Discharge From Emergency Departments: United States, 2017–2020

DEA Letter Confirms Removal of X-Waiver Requirements

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sent a letter to all practitioners with a current DEA registration that includes Schedule III authority confirming the elimination of the DATA-waiver, or X-waiver, buprenorphine prescribing requirements due to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (P.L. 117-328), which was signed into law on December 29, 2022. In their letter, DEA confirmed that a DATA-waiver registration is no longer required to treat patients with buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, all prescriptions for buprenorphine will only require a standard DEA registration number instead of a DATA-Waiver registration number, and there are no longer any caps on the number of patients a prescriber can treat with buprenorphine. The DEA also noted that the law includes new training requirements for all prescribers of controlled substances which will go into effect until June 21, 2023.

Articles & Resources

DEA Letter

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 – Hospitals, others can apply for grants to prevent, treat opioid use disorders

Clinical Pain Advisor – Increased Overdose Risk Among Previously Incarcerated With Opioid, Stimulant Use Disorders

Drug Topic – FDA Grants Priority Review Designation to OPNT003 Nasal Nalmefene for Opioid Overdose

Health Affairs – A Randomized Trial Of Letters To Encourage Prescription Monitoring Program Use And Safe Opioid Prescribing

Popular Science – Unclear regulations prevent telehealth from reaching its full potential

Psychiatry Advisor – Intentional Ingestion of Substances an Ongoing Threat to Health of Children in the US

Senator Patty Murray – Senator Murray Highlights New Funding and Tools Secured to Address Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Crises

STAT – The addiction crisis is causing a spike in endocarditis cases. Hospitals are struggling to respond

The Hill – Health Care — A key hurdle for over-the-counter naloxone

The Washington Post – DEA said it seized enough fentanyl to kill us all. The claim adds up.

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].