Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent a letter asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to examine recent progress in the agency’s fight against the opioid epidemic.
The bipartisan coalition of state and territory attorneys general is seeking a progress report regarding recent steps taken by the FDA to combat the opioid crisis, given the new authorities Congress granted the agency in 2018.
In their letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the attorneys general contend the requested information will help reduce prescription opioid abuse and accidental deaths.
“We have witnessed first-hand the devastation that the opioid epidemic has wrought on states in terms of lives lost and the costs it has imposed on our healthcare system and the broader economy,” reads the letter signed by 48 of America’s attorneys general. “As the chief legal officers of our states, we are committed to using all tools at our disposal to combat this epidemic and to protect patients suffering from chronic pain or addiction, who are among the most vulnerable consumers in our society.”
The coalition’s letter seeks clarification of how the FDA is using and plans to use powers granted under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act). Those provisions include safer opioid packaging and disposal features, research, and issuance of new regulations on non-addictive alternatives to opioids and guidelines for opioid prescribing.
The attorneys general believe the FDA plays a critical role in ensuring both the safety and efficacy of opioids and encouraging non-addictive, non-opioid alternatives for treating pain.
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