Agencies Cracking Down On ‘Unscrupulous Vendors’ Selling Treatments To ‘Cure’ Opioid Addiction
Eleven companies were sent warning letters for the language they used to market their products, including “break the killer pain habit” and “relieve your symptoms . . . addiction, withdrawal, cravings.” Meanwhile, senators say they expect to funnel more money into fighting the opioid crisis, but it's not clear yet on how much that will be.
The Washington Post:
Agencies Target 'Illegal, Unapproved' Products That Claim To Treat Opioid Addiction
Federal regulators said Wednesday that they are cracking down on marketers and distributors selling a dozen products that “illegally” claimed to treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal. In letters sent earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission cited products that target people desperate to find relief from their addictions. They include “Opiate Freedom 5-Pack,” “CalmSupport” and “Soothedrawal.” Most of the 12 items are marketed as dietary supplements, while two are homeopathic remedies, the FDA said. (McGinley, 1/24)
Lawmakers Expect New Opioid Funds But Amount Is Under Debate
Senators on both sides of the aisle say they expect Congress to provide new funding for the opioid epidemic as part of a spending caps deal, but it’s not clear how much will be appropriated. Most lawmakers aren’t saying how much money they would like to see given for opioid treatment and prevention, although they have a laundry list of areas that money could go toward. But they are confident it will be addressed in the coming weeks as Congress deals with immigration and budget fights. (McIntire, 1/24)
And in other news on the epidemic —
The New York Times:
Online Sales Of Illegal Opioids From China Surge In U.S.
Nearly $800 million worth of fentanyl pills were illegally sold to online customers in the United States over two years by Chinese distributors who took advantage of internet anonymity and an explosive growth in e-commerce, according to a Senate report released on Wednesday. A yearlong Senate investigation found that American buyers of the illegal drugs lived mostly in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. (Nixon, 1/24)
Iowa Public Radio:
Underground Needle Exchange Helps Iowans Who Inject Drugs
Staff from the nonprofit Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition meet clients wherever they are to provide several services, including on-site blood tests for HIV and hepatitis C. Volunteers from a collective called Prairie Works sometimes join the nonprofit and give out clean needles and syringes to prevent the spread of those diseases. That’s the illegal part. (Sostaric, 1/25)