#1 CDC reports provisional drug overdose death rates for 2017 increased
Preliminary data released by the CDC this week indicate the number of drug overdose deaths increased to over 70,000 for the 12 months ending December, 2017 compared to 64,000 for the 12 months ending December, 2016.
There is good news however in that 13 states saw their rates decrease with Wyoming experiencing a remarkable negative 33 percent fall in overdose deaths.
The 13 states that saw decreases in their rates are:
Rhode Island -8.3
South Dakota -8.0
New Mexico -4.9
New York City -0.3
To access the details on the CDC site click here: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm
#2 President Trump calls to sue manufacturers, administration proposes cutting production quotas for 6 opioids
In cabinet remarks this week, President Trump asked AG Jeff Sessions to bring a federal lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.
To quote the President’s request to the AG:
“I’d also like to ask you to bring a major lawsuit against the drug companies on opioids. Some states have done it, but I’d like a lawsuit to be brought against these companies that are really sending opioids at a level that it shouldn’t be happening. It’s so highly addictive. People go into a hospital with a broken arm; they come out, they’re a drug addict. They get the arm fixed, but they’re now a drug addict.
And I’d like us to look at some of the litigation that’s already been started with companies. Rather than just joining them, I’d like to bring a federal lawsuit against those companies.”
Access the White House release here: Remarks by President Trump in Cabinet Meeting.
This week, the Justice Department and DEA also proposed significant cuts to commonly prescribed opioid production quotas.
Reductions to commonly prescribed schedule II opioids, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, morphine, and fentanyl were proposed.
For more details click here: Justice Department, DEA propose significant opioid manufacturing reduction in 2019
#3 FDA guidance to veterinarians
In the wake of reports noting some pet owners are abusing their animals to gain access to opioids, the FDA issued guidance to veterinarians.
Click here to access the full release and supporting documents: The Opioid Epidemic: What Veterinarians Need to Know
#4 Johns Hopkins panel creates new guidelines for 20 procedures
An expert panel at Johns Hopkins believe, to the best of their knowledge, that they have created the nation’s first set of operation-specific opioid prescribing guidelines.
The report published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons notes that patients themselves feel they need less opioids than prescribed.
Access the article on the Johns Hopkins Hub here: Experts and patients create operation-specific guidelines for prescribing opioids
#5 Dentists play vital role in addressing opioid crisis
Dr. Nora Volkow and Dr. Martha J. Somerman, NIH Directors of NIDA and NIDCR published a commentary: The Role of the Oral Health Community in Addressing the Opioid Overdose Epidemic. Click here to read the full news article.