Obama announces new efforts to address opioid use disorder and heroin

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APhA supports pharmacists’ inclusion in efforts as well as needs of patients

The White House announced today more public and private-sector actions to address the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic. President Barack Obama was set to discuss the actions in a panel discussion this afternoon at the National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta.

“Today’s actions represent further steps to expand access to treatment, prevent overdose deaths and increase community prevention strategies,” according to a White House fact sheet. “These actions build on the President’s proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to help every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment get the help they need.”  

These Obama administration steps include a U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) proposed rule aiming to increase access to medication-assisted treatment, HHS finalizing a rule to implement mental health and substance use disorder parity in Medicaid, and more than 60 medical schools announcing they will require students to take prescriber education in line with the new CDC opioid prescribing guideline.

“APhA applauds efforts by the White House, Congress, and states to address the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic,” said Jenna Ventresca, JD, APhA Associate Director of Health Policy. “APhA will continue to advocate for pharmacists’ inclusion in these efforts as well as for the needs of patients.”   

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