State AGs urging FDA to examine progress in ongoing opioid fight

opioids

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A bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general in pushing federal regulators to examine recent progress in their fight against opioid abuse.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and his colleagues are seeking a progress report regarding recent steps taken by the FDA to combat the opioid crisis, given the new authorities Congress granted the agency in 2018.

In their letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the attorneys general contend the requested information will help reduce prescription opioid abuse and accidental deaths.

“Combating the opioid crisis in Virginia has been a top priority for me, but unfortunately the families and communities across the Commonwealth continue to feel the devastating impacts,” Herring said. “Fighting the opioid epidemic has taken, and will continue to take, a comprehensive effort between local and state partners, as well as federal partners like the Food and Drug Administration. I look forward to learning more about how the FDA is using their new authority to help prevent further prescription opioid abuse and keep Virginians and their families safe.”

The coalition’s letter seeks clarification of how the FDA is using and plans to use powers granted under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act).

Those provisions include safer opioid packaging and disposal features, research and issuance of new regulations on non-addictive alternatives to opioids and guidelines for opioid prescribing.

“We have witnessed first-hand the devastation that the opioid epidemic has wrought on states in terms of lives lost and the costs it has imposed on our healthcare system and the broader economy. As the chief legal officers to our states, we are committed to using all tools at our disposal to combat this epidemic and to protect patients suffering from chronic pain or addiction, who are among the most vulnerable consumers in our society,” the coalition wrote in the letter.


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