White House Opioid Commission Releases Report with Draft Recommendations

On Monday, July 31, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, led by Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, released their recommendations in a draft report. The report outlines a number of recommendations to include utilization of Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) technology.

Regarding PDMPs, the recommendations specifically state that federal funding and technical support should be provided to states to enhance interstate data sharing among state-based PDMPs to better track patient-specific prescription data and support regional law enforcement in cases of controlled substance diversion. The report recommends that the White House direct federal and state PDMPs to become interoperable and share data by July 1, 2018. Additionally, it was recommended that PDMP usability is improved and that clinicians should ideally check their state PDMPs before prescribing.

Additional recommendations include:

  • Declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency
  • Rapidly increasing treatment capacity
  • Mandating prescriber education initiatives to enhance prevention efforts
  • Providing model legislation for states to allow naloxone dispensing via standing orders
  • Prioritizing funding and manpower to quickly develop fentanyl detection sensors
  • Establishing a fund and federal incentive to enhance access to Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Better aligning patient privacy laws specific to addiction with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)

In preparation for the final report, expected to be released on October 1, the Commission will complete a full review of federal programs, laws, and funding mechanisms targeted toward addressing addiction. This will include review of a national prevention development strategy using “big data analytics.”