January 13, 2021
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel 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 specifically seeks a progress report regarding recent steps taken by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to combat the opioid crisis, given 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.
The coalition’s letter seeks clarification of how 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 opioid epidemic has been devastating for states in terms of lives lost and the strain it has imposed on both our health care system and economy,” Nessel said. “Patients suffering from chronic pain or addiction are particularly vulnerable, and if we are going to protect these patients and combat this epidemic, we must start by holding the FDA accountable for their role in this crisis.”
The attorneys general agree that FDA plays a critical role in ensuring both the safety and efficacy of opioids and encouraging non-addictive, non-opioid alternatives for treating pain.
Attorney General Nessel signed the letter along with the attorneys general from lead states West Virginia and New Mexico, and those from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.