- 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. Pharmaceutical industry influence on the Federal Government, medical care, and advocacy organizations contributed heavily to the development and continuation of the epidemic.
• Easy availability of Mexican heroin and illicit Chinese fentanyl and fentanyl analogs dramatically worsened the epidemic.
• A poorly coordinated federal response has been inadequate to address the growing epidemic.
• 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.
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 must be removed, including the waiver process and patient caps.
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.
11. Improve public health surveillance of the opioid epidemic by providing accurate, real-time data on the incidence and prevalence of opioid use disorder, as well as mapping of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses.
12. Congress must take all measures possible to decrease availability of illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.
13. Congress must take what we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and apply it to the opioid epidemic. Examples include obtaining real-time data and removing limitations on buprenorphine prescription.