Other departments and agencies receiving funding include:
- The National Institutes of Health, $500 million, for research on opioid addiction, developing opioid alternatives, pain management and addiction treatment.
- The Department of Justice, $446.5 million, for law enforcement and grant programs. This includes $330 million for special courts systems for behavioral-health patients and veterans, treatment for those in prisons, PDMPs and a comprehensive opioid-use disorder program. The total also includes $32 million for anti-heroin task force grants, and more money to the Drug Enforcement Administration for enforcement programs directed at opioid, heroin and fentanyl misuse.
- The Food and Drug Administration, $94 million, to strengthen the agency’s capability to inspect more incoming packages and better detect fentanyl at international mail facilities.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture, $20 million, for telemedicine and distance-learning services aimed at addressing the rural opioid epidemic.
Earlier this month, the AMA responded to a House Ways and Means Committee request for ideas on responding to the opioid epidemic.
A multifaceted approach from physicians and other health professionals working with policymakers, law enforcement, the justice system and local communities is needed, AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, wrote in the March 15 letter to committee leaders. He outlined a broad scope of changes that should be made to increase patient access to medication-assisted treatment, and non-opioid pain and multimodal pain care.
Dr. Madara’s letter echoed sentiments expressed last fall by AMA Opioid Task Force Chair Patrice A. Harris, MD, on the occasion of the President Trump’s declaration of the opioid epidemic as a public health emergency.
“Ending the epidemic will require physicians, insurers, drug manufacturers and the government to follow through with resources, evidence-based treatment plans and smart public policies at the national and state levels,” Dr. Harris said.
More information on the AMA’s efforts to stem the opioid epidemic can be found on its End the Epidemic microsite.