Naloxone Is A Lifesaver For Many, But Its Flaws Have Scientists Calling For New Alternatives
Many experts believe “naloxone is being outgunned” in the opioid crisis that's fueled by potent drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil. In other news, Congress is set to hold more hearings on the epidemic as lawmakers work toward a bill they want to bring to the floor next month.
Companies, Academics Search For Better Overdose-Reversal Drugs
Naloxone is the only widely available drug to reverse opioid overdoses. But anecdotal reports of its limitations against synthetic opioids are on the rise. Spurred by that public health threat — as well as a booming commercial market for the antidote — drug companies, researchers, and health officials are eagerly eyeing the development of new treatments to augment the use of naloxone or, in some cases, potentially replace it. (Blau, 4/10)
Congress Prepares For Week Of Opioid Hearings
Four different hearings on combating aspects of the opioid crisis are set for Wednesday, as the House and Senate ramp up efforts to pass legislative packages this spring. Legislative action is scheduled in both chambers. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee plans to discuss a bipartisan legislative package revealed last week and the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will consider 34 bills. (Raman, 4/9)
And in the states —
The Associated Press:
Court To Decide If Drug Use While Pregnant Is Child Abuse
Pennsylvania's highest court will decide whether a woman's use of illegal drugs while pregnant qualifies as child abuse under state law. The Supreme Court recently took up the case of a woman who tested positive for suboxone and marijuana at the time she gave birth early last year at Williamsport Hospital. (Scolforo, 4/9)
Concord (N.H.) Monitor:
Officials Push For More Medication-Assisted Opioid Treatment In N.H.
It’s become a central component of the state’s opioid response. People in the throes of substance abuse disorder are given new medications, targeted to cut off any chemical enjoyment of the drugs doing them harm. Combined with peer support, therapy and sheer willpower, “medication-assisted treatment” can give those suffering addiction a better life – and let them hold onto it. But even with the growing popularity of Suboxone, the most commonly used “blocking” pharmaceutical, New Hampshire faces an elemental problem: physicians. The number of doctors and nurses actually trained to prescribe the medications is far from enough, advocates say. (DeWitt, 4/9)