President Trump officially named the opioid crisis a health emergency, projected to take more lives than last year’s record number.
Late last week (October 27), US President Donald Trump saw it fit to officially declare the opioid crisis in the States, which has killed over 59,000 people in 2016, a “Health Emergency.”
After providing a rhetoric similar to the ‘Just Say No’ campaign in the ‘80s, president Trump faced heavy criticism from experts on his tactics fighting this crisis.
Earlier this year Trump appointed a commission dedicated entirely to providing options and recommendations on the crisis. The grouping recommended the president to declare the crisis a national emergency in July.
Trump had announced in August he would officially declare the crisis a “national emergency,” a phrasing that directly contradicted his then Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.
“Mr. Trump fell short of fulfilling his promise in August to declare “a national emergency” on opioids, which would have prompted the rapid allocation of federal funding to address the issue,” the New York Times reported.
Despite word from his aides that he would in time, Trump didn’t immediately call for new funds to be allocated in the fight against opioids.
FDA’s response and commitment to ending the opioid crisis
On Monday (October 30), US Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement the agency focuses on reducing the exposure of opioids to patients, as well as combating addiction.
“[W]e’ve committed to exploring further is how opioid drug products are packaged, stored and ultimately – when no longer needed – discarded,” Gottlieb wrote.
The commissioner offered the potential of innovations in packaging for these products to limit their consumption.
In a response statement to Trump’s announcement last week, Gottlieb said to properly address the crisis, the administration must all work together.
Impact on business side
The crisis has taken many victims and caused addiction problems all across North America. The once reliable opioid-based products for the industry have backfired on companies at all levels of the pharmaceutical sector. In response, the FDA has made moves to close in on the problem.
Earlier this year the agency requested Endo International (NASDAQ:ENDP) to retire Opana ER, a legacy opioid-based product.
“The FDA is going to continue to take a look at and really ensure sure none of this drugs that are out there continue to propagate the opioid epidemic,” Derek Archila, specialty pharma analyst at Oppenheimer told INN at the time.
“We are facing an opioid epidemic – a public health crisis, and we must take all necessary steps to reduce the scope of opioid misuse and abuse,” Gottlieb said in a statement.
On October 26, the founder of Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ:INSY) John Kapoor was arrested due to his involvement in a plan to bribe doctors into prescribing their fentanyl-based cancer pain drug for patients with other types of pain. Insys faced a 22.64 percent decline after the arrest of Kapoor, its majority shareholder, and former chief executive officer.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no investment interest in any of the companies mentioned.