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Malka Berro

Behavioral Health Policy and Practice Intern

Opioid Commission Report Delayed, New Pharmaceuticals Partnerships Formed

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President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis made news this week with a series of important announcements. First, Commission Chairman Governor Chris Christie announced the commission’s final report would be delayed by one month, pushing the release date to November 1st. Second, he announced a public-private partnership between pharmaceutical companies and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop non-addictive pain treatment therapies.

The Opioid Commission has been working since early June to find methods of prevention and treatment for Opioid Use Disorder, and to combat the staggering 50,000 deaths a year to opioid addiction and overdose. The Commission’s interim report, released in July, called for more partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and the federal government to assist in the development of new medication-assisted treatment (MAT) therapies as well as non-opioid pain relievers. The Commission has met with a more than a dozen pharmaceuticals companies including Purdue Pharma, Johnson & Johnson and Allergan.

 

MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT

MAT combines medication with behavioral therapy to treat substance use disorders. It has been shown to be incredibly effective, lowering overdose rates, the risk of relapse, and the spread of infectious diseases, among others. Medication assisted treatment operates to normalize brain chemistry, block euphoric effects, relieve cravings and normalize body functions by simultaneously addressing the neurological and biological components of addiction as a chronic health condition.