Trump commission unveils new measures to fight opioid addiction

By Sara Shayanian  |  Sept. 27, 2017 at 2:44 PM
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Sept. 27 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's commission on drug addiction met Wednesday and unveiled new measures to stop the opioid epidemic.

The panel met at the White House and announced two main measures -- strategic partnerships and new drug supply limits.

The gathering included presentations from various invited government, business organizations, and nonprofit organizations regarding pain management and prevention measures.

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey (the chairman of the commission), the Director of the National Institutes of Health Dr. Francis Collins, and the President and CEO of PhRMA Stephen J. Ubl attended the meeting.

Ubli said PhRMA would support imposing new limits of 7-day opioid supplies -- instead of the traditional 30-day supply for short-term pain management.

"Over-prescribing can lead to excess pills falling into the wrong hands," Ubl said, adding that "given scope of this crisis, we believe it's the right thing to do."

The opioid epidemic has become a major public health-crisis across the United States as more and more Americans die each year from drug-related overdoses.

Collins advised the panel that the agency is looking to build partnerships with industry researchers to reduce the time "needed to make available prescriptions that are non-addictive."

Some cities like Miami are dealing with the issue directly.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that city commissioners may sue the industry over the epidemic.

"It's become a country-wide epidemic and I think that the drug manufacturers and the distributors are responsible," a Miami city commissioner told the Herald. "They know the highly addictive needs for the opioids and the destructive effect they have on society and yet they push and promulgate these drugs that are destroying families and cities."

The president's commission will issue its final report on the epidemic by Nov. 1.

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