While Congress and the White House hold hearings and press
conferences on the opioid epidemic, states are also working to curb the crisis.
The federal government appropriates money in different ways, and much of the federal
funding to address the opioid epidemic must be distributed as grants. To that
end, West Virginia Rep. David McKinley (R) brought representatives from the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to a workshop
in his district to advise health care agencies and local governments
on applying for grants. The detail-oriented session attracted around 150 people
hoping to make their grant requests competitive enough to deploy federal funds
against the epidemic in West Virginia.
This month, six states joined 16 others and Puerto Rico in suing
Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin over its marketing. The suit,
being pushed by state attorneys general, alleges that Purdue Pharma fueled the
epidemic by deceptively marketing its drugs, both downplaying the risk of
addiction while overstating OxyContin’s benefits. The company says that FDA
data show their products accounted for only 2% of opioid prescriptions but does
not say during which time span. According to Reuters, California, Massachusetts
and New York are preparing similar suits.
Inmate Access to
Substance Abuse Treatment
Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) signed a bill
providing for prison inmate access to prescription drugs. Now, inmates must be
screened for substance abuse disorders within 24 hours of admission and may continue
medication-assisted treatment if they are undergoing treatment while