The 2014 Fed Up! Coalition Platform
- We are in the midst of the worst drug addiction epidemic in United States history.
- The epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths caused by narcotic painkillers and heroin (the class of drugs known as opioids) is our nation’s most urgent public health problem.
- Overprescribing of opioids for common conditions is resulting in skyrocketing rates of addiction.
- Many opioid-addicted individuals are switching from painkillers to heroin.
- The epidemic is having a catastrophic impact on families and communities and is placing tremendous strain on our health care system, businesses, and local and state governments.
- To date, the response from some federal agencies has been slow and tragically ineffective.
Together, we must find new ways to:
- Prevent our children, friends, and loved ones from becoming addicted to opioids;
- Ensure that people suffering from opioid addiction have access to affordable, evidence-based treatment;
- Reduce opioid overdose deaths.
To these ends, we – the Fed Up! Coalition – call on our federal government to take the following actions:
- Take all measures necessary to ensure that opioids and other controlled substances are prescribed more cautiously.
- Prohibit pharmaceutical companies from advertising controlled substances to prescribers and consumers.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should immediately remove Zohydro from the market.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should immediately institute a moratorium on approval of new opioid analgesics.
- Immediately reduce barriers to buprenorphine treatment.
- Allocate more funding for evidence-based treatment and prevention programs, especially to communities hit hardest by the epidemic.
- Ensure that public and private health insurance carriers adequately reimburse evidence-based addiction treatment, including long-term treatment programs.
- Improve legal protection for naloxone use with a federal Good Samaritan law and make naloxone widely available in a variety of settings and to first-responders, family members, addiction treatment providers and to anyone who may have an opportunity to rescue an overdose victim.
- Support the more effective and widespread use of Electronic Prescribing and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) that can be used to identify individuals in need of addiction treatment as well as reckless prescribers.
These commonsense interventions could save countless lives and help bring this epidemic under control.
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