KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Fate Of Man Who Unleashed Wave Of Opioid Overdoses A Microcosm Of National Debate

The case demonstrates why many of the nation’s top justice officials have said that arrests and seizures alone cannot pull the country out of its spiraling epidemic. In other news, experts criticize the man expected to be tapped for the White House drug czar position.

Stat: How A Low-Level Drug Dealer Caused Two Dozen Overdoses
Last May, a low-level drug dealer named Bruce Griggs was released from an Ohio prison. He had served a short sentence stemming from a possession conviction so routine that his former defense attorney would later have trouble recalling it. Just three months later, though, Griggs would travel 250 miles to Huntington, W.Va., where he would distribute opioids that, in a span of a few hours, triggered two dozen overdoses, overwhelming the city’s emergency response system and serving as a stark symbol of the nation’s opioid crisis. (Joseph, 4/12)

Modern Healthcare: Trump's Rumored Pick For Drug Czar Panned By Addiction Experts 
President Donald Trump is expected to nominate U.S. Rep. Tom Marino of Pennsylvania to lead the nation's efforts to curb drug addiction, according to news reports. Addiction experts immediately panned the pick, saying Marino's legislative history shows preference for drugmakers. ... Marino was elected to the House in 2010. He represents a mostly rural district in central and northeastern Pennsylvania.  A former U.S. attorney, Marino introduced the bipartisan Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama in 2016.  The law is supposed to foster greater collaboration between law enforcement and drug companies, pharmacies and distributors in an effort to allow offenders to correct their situation before their rights to distribute opioids are suspended or revoked. (Johnson, 4/12)

And in the states —

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Kasich's Push For Opioid Addiction Research Doesn't Address Immediate Needs, Critics Say
A new state effort to boost technology targeting Ohio's opioid crisis could curb future addiction and overdose deaths, but reaction is mixed as to whether it's the best way to solve the problem. Gov. John Kasich announced last week that up to $20 million will be earmarked for possible solutions through the Ohio Third Frontier, which awards grants to projects that bring research to market. (Borchardt, 4/12)

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