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Attorney General Sean Reyes, Bipartisan AGs Push FDA to Examine Progress in Opioid Fight

Attorney General Sean Reyes, Bipartisan AGs Push FDA to Examine Progress in Opioid Fight

SALT LAKE CITY— Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a broad coalition of 48 attorneys general in pushing federal regulators to examine recent progress in their fight against opioid abuse.

The bipartisan coalition, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, specifically seeks a progress report regarding recent steps taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to combat the opioid crisis, given the new authorities Congress granted the agency in 2018.

In their letter to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the attorneys general contend the requested information will help reduce prescription opioid abuse and accidental deaths.

“We have witnessed first-hand the devastation that the opioid epidemic has wrought on Utah in terms of lives lost and costs imposed on our healthcare system and the broader economy,” Reyes said. “While Utah is one of only a very few states to see a decrease in opioid related deaths this past year, there are still far too many dying and COVID has made things worse.” 

Attorney General Reyes joined in writing. “I and my AG colleagues nationwide are committed to using all tools at our disposal to combat this epidemic and prevent future lives lost, while treating and healing addicts and empowering patients suffering from chronic pain. We are also united in holding accountable those responsible for this plague.”

The coalition’s letter seeks clarification of how the FDA is using and plans to use powers granted under the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act). Those provisions include safer opioid packaging and disposal features, research and issuance of new regulations on non-addictive alternatives to opioids and guidelines for opioid prescribing.

The attorneys general believe the FDA plays a critical role in ensuring both the safety and efficacy of opioids and encouraging non-addictive, non-opioid alternatives for treating pain.

Read a copy of the coalition’s letter here.

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