Pharmacy News

More Federal Dollars Proposed for Addressing Opioid Abuse

Cheryl A. Thompson

BETHESDA, MD 03 Feb 2016—In the continuing struggle to address the nation's opioid overdose epidemic, the White House on Tuesday announced that President Barack Obama wants the federal government to fund more efforts to help people who have an opioid-use disorder.

The efforts would help people with opioid-use disorder seek and complete treatment and sustain their recovery and would improve the public's access to the opioid-overdose reversal drug naloxone, the White House said.

Deaths from overdoses of prescription opioids or heroin tripled over the course of 15 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in mid-December.

In 2014 alone, the most recent year for which the agency has data, an opioid overdose was involved in the deaths of 28,647 people.

The White House said the president's budget for fiscal year 2017 includes $1 billion to be spent over two years on medication-assisted treatment for people with an opioid-use disorder. In addition, the budget includes funding to continue and expand access to opioid-overdose prevention and treatment.

ASHP said it "applauds President Obama's decision to propose $1.1 billion in new funding to address the prescription opioid abuse and heroin use epidemic."

The organization was an invited participant at the October 2015 White House–organized event on the opioid overdose epidemic.

That event coincided with Obama's announcement of several public- and private-sector efforts, including ASHP's, to address prescription drug abuse and heroin use.

The process for formulating the nation's annual budget starts with the president. Obama's proposal for the fiscal year 2017 budget will be available on February 9, according to a tweet by Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan.


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