October 6, 2017
Assistant Secretary McCance-Katz Meets with Innovators to Discuss Solutions to Opioid Crisis
On Thursday, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz on behalf of Acting Secretary Don Wright, M.D., MPH, hosted a listening session at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with innovators from the pain and addiction treatment space to discuss how the Trump Administration and HHS can better address America’s opioid crisis.
Dr. McCance-Katz, head of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, who is a psychiatrist and addiction specialist, represented HHS at this roundtable meeting. Combating the opioid crisis is a top priority for President Trump, and HHS has identified it as one of the Department’s top three clinical priorities.
Thursday’s gathering is the fourth roundtable in a series of listening sessions at HHS with stakeholders regarding the opioid crisis. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Abuse Deterrent Coalition, including Egalet, Alkermes, BioDelivery Sciences, Braeburn, Indivior, Innovative Health Solutions, Nektar, Regeneron, Smiths Medical and Trevena.
Participants discussed the development of non-addictive and non-euphoric therapeutics for both acute and chronic pain, novel treatments for addiction, and barriers to the development or implementation of these solutions, such as current regulatory or payment policies.
Dr. McCance-Katz noted that HHS is actively listening and looking for innovative ideas and solutions. She also shared the five-point strategy that HHS has unveiled under the Trump Administration for combating the opioid crisis:
- Improving access to treatment, prevention, and recovery services, including the full range of medication-assisted treatment;
- Promoting the targeted availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs;
- Strengthening our understanding of the epidemic through better public health data and reporting;
- Providing support for cutting edge research on pain and addiction; and
- Advancing better practices for pain management.
Dr. McCance-Katz thanked the participants for their insights and innovative work to address the challenges of pain and addiction in America. She emphasized that President Trump and the entire Trump Administration are deeply committed to addressing the opioid crisis that is devastating our country.