Biden Administration Announces New Funding to Combat Overdose Epidemic

On International Overdose Awareness Day, the Biden Administration announced $450 million to strengthen prevention efforts, support state and local government treatment and recovery efforts, and disrupt and dismantle illicit drug trafficking operations. The White House Office for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will receive $20.5 million to add 164 new Drug-Free Communities Support Program awards for 2023, $1 million for the Real Deal on Fentanyl public awareness campaign, and $18.9 million for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) Program. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will receive $279 million in Overdose Data to Action grants, and will use a portion of this funding to directly support city, county and territory health departments. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will award $80 million to rural communities across the country to support counter-overdose strategies. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will receive $51 million, to support treatment and recovery services.

Articles & Resources

White House—Fact Sheet: On Int’l Overdose Awareness Day, Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $450 Million in New funding to Support President Biden’s Unity Agenda Efforts to Beat the Overdose Epidemic and Save Lives

Over-the-Counter Naloxone Launched

The Emergent Biosolution Narcan spray, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2023, was launched last week as the first over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone product. Retailers including Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart and CVS will make the product available in stores and online later this month. Naloxone access advocates applauded the release of an OTC option but noted concerns that the price, currently set around $45, may be a barrier for some. The Biden Administration released a press release noting its support of the OTC availability of naloxone. Following the March approval, Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) said, “FDA’s announcement to make Narcan available over-the-counter is an important step to make this medicine accessible to more people at a time when the majority of overdose deaths are being driven by illicit opioids like fentanyl…”

Articles & Resources

White House—Dr. Gupta Applauds FDA Announcement to Make First Naloxone Product Available Over-the-Counter

CNN – Over-the-counter opioid overdose antidote Narcan to hit shelves next week, drugmaker says

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.

Axios—Raleigh police have seized enough fentanyl this year to kill 8.5 million

Bloomberg Law News—Opioid Overdose Drugs Unite Groups Over Workplace First Aid Kits

Bloomberg—US Health Officials Urge Moving Pot to Lower-Risk Category (3)

NPR—As more teens overdose on fentanyl, schools face a drug crisis unlike any other

Office of National Drug Control Policy—Webinar: School Overdose Response Virtual Town Hall w/ Dr. Gupta and Secretary of Education Cardona

Pain News Network—The Way Forward: California’s New Opioid Guidelines

Pharmacy Times—The Evolving Role of the Pharmacist in Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

STAT—A big insurer decides to cover naloxone for overdose; will others follow?

World Health Organization—Fighting the opioid crisis: The case of Athens, Greece

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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