CHARLESTON — Forty-eight attorneys general, led by West Virginia and New Mexico, have joined in a coalition seeking information by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to combat the opioid crisis on what it is doing to help combat the opioid crisis.
In a letter sent to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the group said it is seeking a report to figure out what it is doing to help address opioid abuse, a power it was given by Congress in 2018.
The attorneys general, led by West Virginia and New Mexico Attorneys General Patrick Morrisey and Hector Balderas, said they believe the FDA now plays an important role in ensuring both the safety and efficiency of opioid prescribing and want to know how the FDA use using that power.
“As the chief legal officers of our states, we are committed to using all tools at our disposal to combat this epidemic and to protect patients suffering from chronic pain or addiction, who are among the most vulnerable consumers in our society,” Morrisey said.
The coalition is seeing clarification on how the FDA has used and plans on how it will continue to use powers given under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, better known as the SUPPORT Act.
The act was meant to create safer opioid packaging and disposal features, research and issuance of new regulations on non-addictive alternatives to opioids and guidelines for opioid prescribing.
The letter, addressed to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, contended the requested information would help reduce prescription opioid abuse and overdose deaths.
Morrisey said he co-led a similar asking health insurance companies in 2017 to review and revise their payment and coverage policies to prioritize non-opioid pain management options for chronic, non-cancer pain.