Washington, D.C.—This week, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) sent a bipartisan letter urging Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf to strengthen the FDA’s recent proposed rule on opioid disposal.
Emmer said, “Opioid addiction has ravaged communities and stolen too many American lives. Last year, drug overdoses hit an all-time high. Tragically, many of these addictions were triggered by the contents of a home medicine cabinet.”
“Safe opioid disposal saves lives by cutting off a key source of dangerous drugs before they can end up in the wrong hands. We must ensure that the FDA is recommending the safest and most effective methods of disposal to households across America,” Emmer concluded.
Specifically, the FDA’s proposal requires that all opioid prescriptions be discarded using a mail-back envelope. This rule includes possible oversights in accessibility for rural and tribal communities--two groups with acute opioid concerns. Additionally, the FDA’s proposal fails to address rising mail theft.
In 2018, the House passed, and Representative Emmer supported, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. Among many provisions included in the legislation, it directed the FDA to use risk evaluation strategies to improve the safe storage and disposal of opioid prescriptions.
On April 21 of this year, the FDA announced its intention to solicit public comment on a proposed change to the Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy. You can read the proposed rule here.
You can read Representative Emmer’s letter in its entirety here.