White House Commission on Opioids to Trump: Declare a National Emergency

Posted 31 July 2017 | By Zachary Brennan 

White House Commission on Opioids to Trump: Declare a National Emergency

The White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis on Monday urged President Donald Trump to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency under the either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act.

In an interim report released Monday afternoon, the commission, chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R),  laid out eight specific actions ahead of a final report to be issued sometime in the future, which will include "a full-scale review of federal programs, regulations, laws, and funding mechanisms targeted toward addressing addiction."

In addition to its call for a national emergency to be declared, the commission says that the White House should rapidly increase treatment capacity by granting waiver approvals for every state to eliminate barriers from the Institutes for Mental Diseases exclusion within the Medicaid program.

The commission also calls on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalize, review and recommend national training standards alongside the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to ensure courses are coordinated with other federal agencies, professional societies, medical schools and residency programs to avoid discrepancies.

"FDA should also work with the ACCME to develop data analytics to determine whether courses change practices, increase patient referrals to treatment, and methods to improve compliance consistent with opioid prescribing education," the interim report says.

Other actions include providing model legislation for states to allow naloxone dispensing via standing orders, as well as requiring the prescribing of naloxone with high-risk opioid prescriptions. (For more on standing orders and the rising cost of naloxone, see this Focus story).

"We must equip all law enforcement in the United States with naloxone to save lives," the interim report says.

Draft Opioid Commission Report

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