White House Releases National Response Plan to Address Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine (Tranq)

On July 11th, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released a National Response Plan to tackle the growing threat of fentanyl mixed with xylazine, known as Tranq. The plan identifies six pillars of action to address this threat and protect public health: Testing, Data Collection, Evidence-Based Prevention, Harm Reduction, and Treatment, Supply Reduction, Scheduling, Research. Responsibilities and action items have been shared with agencies across the federal government directing them to develop and submit an implementation report within 60 days. The plan’s ultimate goal is to remove the emerging threat status of the fentanyl/xylazine combination by requiring a 15% reduction in xylazine poisoning deaths by 2025. ONDCP Director Dr. Rahul Gupta commented on the plan saying, “Since we announced the emerging drug threat earlier this year, we’ve been working tirelessly to create the best plan of attack to address this dangerous and deadly substance head-on…Now with this National Response Plan we are launching coordinated efforts across all of government to ensure we are using every lever we have to protect public health and public safety, and save lives. As a doctor, I have seen the devastating consequences of xylazine combined with fentanyl firsthand. And as President Biden’s drug policy advisor, I am laser-focused on finding every tool we have and following the best evidence-based practices to take on this new challenge. This will be an all-hands-on-deck effort – but I am confident we can take action together and eradicate this emerging threat.”

Articles & Resources

White House—Fact Sheet: In Continued Fight Against Overdose Epidemic, the White House Releases National Response Plan to Address the Emerging Threat of Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine.

ONDCP—Fentanyl Adulterated or Associated with Xylazine Response Plan

Senate Introduces Preventing the Financing of Illegal Synthetic Drugs Act

Last week, Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) and John Cornyn (TX) introduced the Preventing the Financing of Illegal Synthetic Drugs Act (S.2227). The bipartisan bill instructs the Comptroller General of the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the illicit financing that is associated with synthetic drug trafficking. The bill would also require that GAO present their findings regarding the business model of the drug trafficking organizations, how they hide earnings and what the government can do to prevent the related money laundering.

The House of Representatives passed a similar piece of legislation this spring, Preventing Financing of Illegal Synthetic Drugs Act (H.R. 1076), which shared bipartisan support and passed within three months of being introduced. The bill language for the Senate version has not been made public, however, the House version outlines the specific drugs of interest, including fentanyl, methamphetamine, Captagon, and related substances.

Articles & Resources

Senator Cortez Masto—Cortez Masto, Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Stop Illicit Drug Financing

Senator John Cornyn—Cornyn, Cortez Masto Introduce Bill to Stop Illicit Drug Financing

Bill Text—H.R. 1076 Preventing the Financing of Illegal Synthetic Drugs Act

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.

AMA—Help you resident physicians meet new DEA training mandate

Health Affairs—Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder: Comparison of Insurance Restrictions 2017-21

House Energy & Commerce Committee—Health Subcommittee Chair Guthrie Opening Statement at Subcommittee Markup of 17 Bills

KFF—New KFF Analysis Examines Rapidly Evolving Federal Policies for Substance Use Disorder Treatment for the Opioid Epidemic

Los Angeles Times—Commentary: Pharmacies selling fentanyl-laced pills are deadly tourist traps in Mexico

NPR—Here’s who controls the $50 billion opioid settlement funds in each state

Pharmacy Times—Study Aims to Improve PrEP Adherence for Those on Medication for Opioid Use Disorder With Cognitive Dysfunction

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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