- FED UP! Platform Background
• The opioid crisis is the worst drug addiction epidemic in American history. More than 500,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses since 1999.
• The epidemic was caused by massive over-prescribing of opioids. As prescriptions soared, addiction and overdose deaths among both pain patients and non-medical users increased in lockstep.
• The pharmaceutical industry has had undue influence on the Federal Government, medical care, and advocacy organizations to the detriment of public health.
• Federal agencies have not responded to the crisis in a coordinated manner.
• 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 crisis including:
1. Every American suffering from an opioid use disorder must have access to effective treatment regardless of their ability to pay for it.
2. Congress must act to end conflicts of interest between FDA regulators and the pharmaceutical industry.
3. FDA must:
- Institute a moratorium on new opioid pain medicines.
- Cease use of enriched enrollment randomized withdrawal methodology.
- Prohibit marketing of opioids for long-term use.
- Remove ultra-high dosage opioids from the market.
4. All barriers to buprenorphine treatment should be removed, including the waiver process and patient caps; Eased restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic should become permanent.
5. Ensure access harm reduction services, such as syringe exchanges and naloxone.
6. Mandate prescriber use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and mandate warnings about risk of addiction before opioids are prescribed.
7. Require training, free of pharmaceutical industry bias, for clinicians to prescribe more than a 3 day supply of opioids.
8. Launch public information campaigns on opioid risks, treatment resources, and stigma reduction.
9. Ensure access to interdisciplinary pain care and non-opioid options for people with chronic pain. 10. Hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for causing the opioid crisis, including criminal penalties.