Josh Kaul
Press Release

AG Kaul, Bipartisan AGs Push FDA to Examine Progress in Opioid Fight

January 11, 2021

By - Jan 11th, 2021 11:01 am

MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul joined a broad coalition of 48 attorneys general in pushing federal regulators to examine recent progress in their fight against opioid abuse. The bipartisan coalition specifically seeks a progress report regarding recent steps taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to combat the opioid crisis, given the new authorities Congress granted the agency in 2018.

“Effectively fighting the opioid epidemic requires collaboration across agencies and action at the local, state, and federal levels. This bipartisan group of more than 40 AGs is asking the FDA to provide an update on steps it’s taking to address the opioid crisis,” said Attorney General Kaul.

In their letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the attorneys general contend the requested information will help reduce prescription opioid abuse and accidental deaths.

Attorneys general stated in the letter: “We have witnessed first-hand the devastation that the opioid epidemic has wrought on states in terms of lives lost and the costs it has imposed on our healthcare system and the broader economy. 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.”

The coalition’s letter seeks clarification of how the FDA is using and plans to use powers granted under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act). Those provisions include safer opioid packaging and disposal features, research and issuance of new regulations on non-addictive alternatives to opioids and guidelines for opioid prescribing.

The attorneys general believe the FDA plays a critical role in ensuring both the safety and efficacy of opioids and encouraging non-addictive, non-opioid alternatives for treating pain.

Attorney General Kaul signed the letter with attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New  Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Read a copy of the coalition’s letter here.

Press release: https://www.doj.state.wi.us/news-releases/ag-kaul-bipartisan-ags-push-fda-examine-progress-opioid-fight

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