Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined a broad coalition of 48 attorneys general on Monday calling on federal regulators to investigate recent advances in combating opioid abuse.
In particular, the coalition is seeking a progress report on recent steps taken by the US Food and Drug Administration to tackle the opioid crisis, as Congress of the new agencies approved the agency in 2018.
In their letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the attorneys general explain how the information requested will help reduce prescription opioid abuse and accidental death.
“We have all witnessed the havoc the opioid epidemic wreaked havoc on states in terms of loss of life and costs to our health systems and the wider economy,” said Ford. “As our states’ chief legal advisor, we stand up for them Combating this epidemic and protecting patients with chronic pain or addiction who are among the most vulnerable consumers in our society.
“I want every Nevadan man to know that my office is using every tool it can to hold those responsible for the opioid crisis accountable and we are still in litigation.”
The coalition letter requests clarification of its use by the FDA and the use of powers granted under the Substance Use Disorders Prevention Act to promote opioid recovery and treatment for patients and communities. These regulations include safer packaging and disposal features for opioids, the research and publication of new regulations for non-addictive alternatives to opioids, and guidelines for prescribing opioids.
The attorneys general believe the FDA plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and effectiveness of opioids and promoting non-addictive, non-opioid alternatives to pain management.
When monitored by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Office of Analytics, the data shows a decrease in the number of opioid-related deaths from overdose. From 2010 to 2018, the rate per 100,000 opioid-related overdose deaths among Nevada residents decreased by 24% (16.22 to 12.2).
In addition to Nevada, the coalition includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi , Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, American Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.