FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

States Call on Lawmakers for Help to Fight Opioid Crisis

July 14, 2017

Officials from Kentucky, Maryland, Rhode Island and Virginia testified to a house committee Wednesday about the opioid epidemic in their states and asked for more assistance to combat the problem.

Members of the House Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee said they support a comprehensive, data-driven response, and full committee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) called for an all-hands-on-deck effort from federal, state and local officials, including healthcare experts and law enforcement.

Maryland’s lieutenant governor, Boyd Rutherford (R), told the subcommittee his state saw more than 8.8 million opioid prescriptions dispensed in 2016, for a population of just over 6 million, along with an increase in prescription-related overdoses. Earlier this year, Maryland declared an official state of emergency in response to the epidemic, and opened a command center to coordinate efforts between different agencies.

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