health policy updates and breaking news from capitol hill
July 22, 2019  | 

Addiction Policy Update – July 2019



House Oversight and Reform Committee Hearing on Federal Opioid Crisis Response

On June 19th, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held a hearing on Federal responses to the opioid crisis entitled, “Medical Experts: Inadequate Federal Approach to Opioid Treatment and the Need to Expand Care.” The purpose of the hearing was to examine why families who need treatment and support are unable to access it, whether federal response to-date has been sufficient, and to discuss the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act that intends to increase access to evidence-based treatment approaches and wraparound care.

During the hearing, top medical experts agreed that current federal response is not adequate, and they urged Congress to fully support the passage of the CARE Act and to better fund the national response to the opioid crisis. 

Detailed information on this hearing’s proceedings can be found here. 


House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Hearing on Fentanyl Usage

On July 16th, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled “Oversight of Federal Efforts to Combat the Spread of Illicit Fentanyl.” The Subcommittee Chair called on them to investigate the increasing threat posed by fentanyl and the federal government’s current response to the “third wave of the opioid epidemic.”

The Subcommittee discussed federal legislation that could impact the distribution of opioids broadly and fentanyl specifically, and the Full Committee Chairman reiterated that the Committee is dedicated to fighting the opioid epidemic and will look for unique solutions to counteract it.

Detailed information on this hearing’s proceedings can be found here. 



Upcoming FDA Public Meeting on New Opioid Analgesic Approval Framework

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a public meeting scheduled for September 17th, 2019 entitled, “Standards for Future Opioid Analgesic Approvals and Incentives for New Therapeutics to Treat Pain and Addiction.” The purpose of the meeting is to receive comments and feedback on a new FDA framework to be used when reviewing the development/approval of new opioid products, including examining drug characteristics of the new product that would impact the risk of overdose and addiction, health risks as compared to opioid products currently on the market, and the overall potential public health risk of the new product. 

Detailed information on this upcoming hearing can be found here. 



Holly Strain, Sarah Herbert, and Carol McDaid of Capitol Decisions have generously provided the information used for this Policy Update.