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Topic: Legislation, Regulation & Litigation

Posts covering federal, state and local legislation and regulatory actions as well as litigation impacting the addiction field.

British Columbia to decriminalize small amounts of cocaine, heroin, meth and ecstasy

June 7th, 2022|

TORONTO — The possession of small amounts of several illicit drugs, including cocaine and opioids such as fentanyl or heroin, will be temporarily decriminalized in British Columbia, the federal government said Tuesday, in what it cast as a “bold” step to “turn the tide” in the province’s overdose crisis.

Doctors, companies push to keep looser rules for prescribing opioid treatment drugs

May 13th, 2022|

WASHINGTON — It got a lot easier for patients with opioid addiction to get their medication remotely during the pandemic — and now addiction doctors and telehealth companies are pushing Congress to make those flexibilities permanent. Before Covid-19, patients had to see a doctor in person for prescriptions to help them with their addictions, like buprenorphine. Now, at least temporarily, they can get them via telehealth appointments. Experts say loosening the rules helped eliminate longstanding barriers to addiction care, like a lack of transportation or a shortage of clinicians who prescribe medically assisted treatment, especially in rural communities. But the changes are temporary, tied to the state of “emergency” associated with the pandemic — and proponents want them made permanent.

FY2022 Federal Budget Includes Funds for Recovery Support Service

March 23rd, 2022|

According to advocates such as Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), while a long-requested 10% set-aside for recovery support services was included in the president's budget request to Congress, that provision did not make it into the final budget bill. Patty McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer, Faces & Voices of Recovery, stated that “Over the last 20 years, our advocacy work has led to substantial increases in federal funding for recovery support services. These increases in federal funding have allowed our communities to build and strengthen programs where it counts–in community-based settings."

The Sackler Act: Will it Provide Justice for America? 

January 10th, 2022|

In response to the legal maneuverings of the Sackler family as they attempt to escape the consequences of their actions, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney of New York introduced the Sacker Act on March 19, 2021. The full title of this bill is “The SACKLER Act and Other Policies to Promote Accountability for the Sackler Family’s Role in the Opioid Epidemic.” The purpose of this legislation is to prevent individuals who have not filed for bankruptcy, like members of the Sackler family, from obtaining releases from individual liability through bankruptcy proceedings. This is exactly what the Sacklers have been trying to do—and succeeding until the most recent development on this matter on December 16, 2021.

SAMHSA to Launch New “Office of Recovery”

October 15th, 2021|

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is launching an Office of Recovery, within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, to advance the agency’s commitment to, and support of, recovery for all Americans. September marks National Recovery Month, and in organizing this new office, SAMHSA will now have a dedicated team with a deep understanding of recovery to promote policies, programs and services to those in or seeking recovery.

John Oliver Dissects Sackler Settlement

September 2nd, 2021|

...we thought it would be worth doing a third installment anyway for a couple of reasons. First, it's an epidemic that's still very much raging exacerbated by both the pandemic and illicit Fentanyl to the point that last year nearly 70,000 people died from opioid overdoses. That is the highest annual death toll ever. And second, you may have seen a bunch of headlines recently about trials and settlements happening around the country. There have been so many of them that it can be genuinely hard to keep track. But we want to focus on just one company tonight, Purdue Pharma, whose rollout of Oxycontin arguably fueled the opioid crisis. We're talked about their relentless push to sell Oxycontin before, but more material has come out in the last couple of years....

Sacklers Threaten to Pull Out of Opioid Settlement Without Broad Legal Immunity

August 20th, 2021|

A scion of the Sackler family, the billionaire owners of Purdue Pharma, vowed in court on Tuesday that the family would walk away from a $4.5 billion pledge to help communities nationwide that have been devastated by the opioid epidemic, unless a judge grants it immunity from all current and future civil claims associated with the company.

Absent that broad release from liability, said David Sackler, 41, a former board member and grandson of one of the founders, the family would no longer support the deal that the parties have painstakingly negotiated over two years to settle thousands of opioids lawsuits brought by states, cities, tribes and other plaintiffs.

Biden picks former West Virginia health official as nation’s drug czar

July 29th, 2021|

Rahul Gupta, ally of Sen. Manchin (D-WV), would oversee drug policy strategy if confirmed

Gupta, a primary-care doctor who previously served as West Virginia’s health commissioner, led Biden’s transition efforts for the drug policy office and serves as the top health official at maternal and child advocacy group March of Dimes, would be the first physician to serve as drug czar if confirmed by the Senate.

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