FED UP! Platform Background
• The opioid epidemic is the worst drug epidemic in American history. More than 700,000 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 an epidemic of addiction.
• A flood of illicitly synthesized fentanyl has caused overdose deaths to skyrocket.
• The Federal government’s response has been inadequate to address the epidemic.
• Millions of Americans with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) are unable to access effective treatment.
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 this crisis including:
- Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder.
- Every American suffering from opioid use disorder must have access to affordable, effective treatment.
- Congress must commit to long-term funding for opioid use disorder treatment.
- Increase public awareness of opioid and fentanyl dangers through PSAs, school education, and rapid public information regarding overdose hotspots.
- Administration and Congress must take all necessary measures to decrease the supply and availability of illicit fentanyl.
- Harm reduction
- Ensure access to harm reduction services, such as syringe exchanges, naloxone, and fentanyl test strips. Due to the high death rate from fentanyl poisoning, FED UP! supports pilot Overdose Prevention Centers in urban areas.
- Justice-involved individuals.
- The high rate of OUD among justice-involved individuals requires that treatment be available in all jails and prisons, and transition to outpatient facilities be facilitated.
- FDA must be held accountable for its role in the opioid epidemic.
- Congress must act to end conflicts of interest between FDA regulators and the pharmaceutical industry.
- FDA must prohibit marketing of opioids for long-term use.
- FDA must end use of enriched enrollment randomized withdrawal trials for opioid approvals.
- FDA must remove ultra-high dosage opioids from the market.
- Prescribers must warn patients about risk of addiction before prescribing opioids.
- Chronic pain. Ensure access to interdisciplinary pain care and non-opioid options for people with chronic pain.
- Criminal penalties for those pharmaceutical executives responsible for the opioid crisis.
- Public health surveillance. CDC must provide accurate, real-time data on the incidence and prevalence of OUD, as well as mapping of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses.