Naloxone Has Become Key Weapon In Fight Against Opioid Crisis. But Is It Doing More Harm Than Good?
A new working paper finds that there's been a 14-percent increase in opioid-related mortality attributable to expanded naloxone access. Many in the field are troubled by the moral implications of publishing research making claims that could have wide-reaching ramifications. Meanwhile, a group of bipartisan senators introduce legislation to strength the DEA's role in curbing the epidemic.
Amid Efforts To Expand Naloxone Access, A New Study Questions Its Value
Amid a worsening opioid epidemic, the overdose-reversal drug naloxone has taken center stage. Fire and police departments across the country stock the drug; nonprofits aim to get it into the hands of millions of residents as a bystander intervention. But a controversial new working paper has raised the question of whether the urgent push to expand naloxone access may be doing more harm than good. (Facher, 3/13)
Bipartisan Bill Would Give DEA More Power In Setting Opioid Quotas
A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Monday they said would strengthen the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) ability to prevent opioid abuse. The bill would allow the DEA to take into consideration overdose deaths and abuse rates when it annually sets quotas for the number of Schedule I and II controlled substances, such as opioids, that can be manufactured and produced in the U.S. (Hellmann, 3/12)
And in other news on the public health crisis —
One-Quarter Of State’s Residents Know Someone Who Died From Opioids, New Survey Suggests
A majority of Massachusetts residents know someone who has been addicted to opioids and more than a quarter have lost a loved one or an acquaintance to a fatal overdose, according to a survey released Tuesday by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Residents see opioid addiction as a severe and worsening public health emergency, with 7 in 10 calling it a “very serious problem,” far more worrisome than health care costs and taxes, the survey found. (Freyer, 3/12)
A Quarter Of Mass. Residents Know Someone Who Died Of An Opioid Overdose, Survey Finds
More than a quarter of Massachusetts residents say they know someone who died of a fatal opioid overdose, according to a new survey from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. ...It also found that the majority of respondents know someone addicted to opioids, and 71 percent say the opioid epidemic is the biggest problem facing the state, more so than health care costs, crime or the economy. (Becker, 3/12)
Texas Counties And Cities Urged To "Race To The Courthouse" For Opioid Lawsuits
County and city governments across Texas have been the focus of a legal feeding frenzy as law firms vie to represent them in lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies over the nation’s deadly opioid crisis. The firms say the companies oversold the drugs' benefits for treating chronic pain and have downplayed the risk for addiction. (Evans, 3/12)