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Trump Administration Plans Action on Opioid Crisis

On March 30, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order announcing the creation of a high-level commission for combating opioid abuse, addiction and overdose.  Just days before, the White House hosted an Opioid Roundtable to kick-off the new initiative.

News reports indicate that the commission will be chaired by Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, who had made the opioid epidemic a priority in his state, and will also include members from key federal agencies. An earlier draft of the executive order indicated this would include Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D., Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin, M.D., Defense Secretary James Mattis, and as many as five other stakeholders who aren't federal employees will also make-up the commission. Yet, the final order states the commission is composed members “designated or appointed by the President” and will be “selected so that membership is fairly balanced in terms of the points of views represented and the functions to performed.”

Among its responsibilities, the commission will evaluate Federal funding used to combat drug addiction and the opioid crisis; the availability and accessibility of drug addiction treatment services and overdose reversal; best practices for addiction prevention, including healthcare provider education and evaluation of prescription practices, and the use and effectiveness of State prescription drug monitoring programs; review the literature on opioids evaluating the effectiveness of educational messages for youth and adults; and  effectiveness of Federal programs to prevent and treat drug addiction. Expected to release preliminary recommendations within 90 days, the commission will also issue a full report to the President by October 2017.

ASA has long worked closely with key stakeholders to reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and organizations of the American Medical Association (AMA) Task Force to Reduce Prescription Opioid Abuse, which ASA is a member. In the last administration, ASA supported key legislation to address prescription opioid abuse, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), and was also a member of a White House public-private sector partnership comprised of more than 40 provider groups all making commitments to address opioid abuse.  ASA also collaborated with the CDC on the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

ASA looks forward to working with the Trump Administration on this important issue as well and is pleased the White House is taking steps to implement new initiatives.

Learn more about ASA’s activities to address the opioid epidemic

Learn more about CARA

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