Administration Releases Additional Funds to Address Opioid Epidemic
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that it will make $70 million in grants available to help communities and health care providers plagued by the opioid epidemic.
Funds include $28 million dedicated to medication-assisted treatment, as well as $41.7 million, over four years, dedicated to training and expanding availability of lifesaving overdose reversal medications.
ASA is pleased to hear funds will be available to recipients to train and provide resources for first responders administering FDA-approved emergency treatments for opioid overdose. One grantee will have the opportunity to expand availability of overdose reversal medications in healthcare settings and to establish protocols connecting patients who have experienced an overdose with treatment, receiving up to $1 million over five years.
ASA has long worked in support of making naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, more accessible to laypersons who might witness an opioid overdose, including first responders and family members and caregivers of high-risk individuals, in order to reduce the incidence of opioid overdose fatalities. The ASA Committee on Pain Medicine developed a Statement on Naloxone, which encourages physicians to consider co-prescribing naloxone with an opioid for patients at high risk of overdose and encourages the federal government and private insurers to provide coverage for naloxone.
This HHS announcement comes after the recent announcement in April 2017, which entailed the release of $485 million in grants provided by the 21st Century Cures Act to address opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery.
Read the ASA Committee on Pain Medicine Statement on Naloxone
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