- This is the worst drug addiction epidemic in American history. More than 400,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses since 1999.
- The epidemic was caused by overprescribing of opioids. As prescriptions soared, addiction and overdose deaths among both pain patients and nonmedical users increased in lockstep.
- The Federal Government’s efforts to combat the epidemic are uncoordinated and underfunded.
- The death toll will continue to mount until effective treatment is easier to access than heroin, fentanyl and opioid painkillers
We – the FED UP! Coalition to End the Opioid Epidemic – call for a coordinated and sustained Federal Government response that will take all necessary steps to end the opioid addiction epidemic including:
- Adequately fund clinically appropriate treatment, both inpatient and outpatient, for all Americans suffering from opioid use disorder, regardless of their ability to pay for it.
- FDA must:
- Stop approval of new opioids lacking major advantages over existing drugs.
- Prohibit marketing of opioids as safe and effective for chronic pain.
- Add a suggested upper dose limit and maximum duration of use in prescription opioid labeling.
- Remove ultra-high dosage unit opioids, transmucosal immediate-release fentanyl products, and all oxymorphone products.
- Remove all barriers to buprenorphine treatment.
- Ensure access to such harm reduction services as clean syringes and naloxone.
- Mandate prescriber use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs.
- DEA should mandate prescriber education, free of pharmaceutical industry bias, in order for any DEA registrant to prescribe more than a 3 day supply of opioids.
- Launch public awareness campaigns to communicate risks of opioids, reduce the stigma of addiction and bias against medication-assisted treatment, and build naloxone awareness.
- Ensure access to interdisciplinary pain care programs to help chronic pain patients reduce opioid use and improve function.
- Stop undue influence of the pharmaceutical industry on FDA, Congress, doctors, hospitals, advocacy organizations, and others responsible for the public health
. Ensurethat all criminal and civil remedies available under federal law are used to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for their role in the epidemic.