Today the Administration took a historic step to direct additional resources to help address the staggering human and economic toll created by the epidemic of opioid addiction. We thank President Trump for his leadership in further empowering public and private parties around the country to do everything possible to more forcefully address this complex public health crisis. We are committed to taking additional steps under the new declaration of a public health emergency to more forcefully confront this immense national tragedy. This includes taking aggressive steps to prevent new addictions and opioid-related deaths, and help those currently addicted regain control and restore them to their communities.
Since becoming FDA Commissioner, I’ve made it one of my highest priorities to work on multiple fronts to reduce the scope of the opioid epidemic that’s devastating our nation and destroying individual lives and families. In particular, we believe the FDA has a vital role to play in curbing new addiction, reframing how we look at the benefits and risks of opioids as part of our pre-and post-market efforts, and keeping as many people as possible from experiencing the serious adverse effects associated with these medications. The agency is also focused on promoting the development of opioids that are harder to manipulate and abuse, and non-opioid pain treatments; supporting important efforts to increase the use of and access to the potentially life-saving antidote naloxone; encouraging the safe adoption and more widespread use of FDA-approved medically-assisted treatments to help combat addiction, and working with federal and international partners to stop the flow of heroin and extremely potent, and often deadly, synthetic drugs like illicitly made fentanyl. I also announced this week that the FDA will use our platform to join efforts to break the stigma associated with addiction and the use of medications that can help people live lives of sobriety.
In order to properly address this crisis, we know it requires an all-of-the-above approach that will require each of us to work together ‒ the FDA and other government agencies, health care providers, the medical products industry, policy makers, patients and their families. At the FDA, we remain steadfast in using all facets of our regulatory authority to change the trajectory of this epidemic and stand ready to work with the Administration on these critical efforts.
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