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A New Framework for Preventing Overdoses

September 01, 2022

The FDA has introduced a new strategy to prevent overdoses this week, focusing on preventing unnecessary prescription drug exposure, harm reduction, and the development of new treatment options.

It’s estimated nearly 110,000 Americans died from overdoses during 2021 and 18.4 million people suffer from illicit drug use disorders, the agency noted.

“While the FDA’s previous strategies have largely focused on opioid use and overdoses, the evolving nature of the overdose crisis calls for both a new approach and honest reflection about what the FDA can do differently moving forward,” said Robert M. Califf, MD, FDA commissioner.

This week, the FDA identified the following priorities in its new framework:

  • Supporting primary prevention by eliminating unnecessary initial prescription drug exposure and inappropriate prolonged prescribing 
  • Encouraging harm reduction through innovation and education 
  • Advancing development of evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders  
  • Protecting Americans from unapproved, diverted, or counterfeit drugs presenting serious overdose risks

HAP joins organizations around the world highlighting the importance of advancing behavioral health care and addressing overdose deaths. HAP continues to advocate for policies and legislation that support Pennsylvania hospitals as they care for patients with behavioral health needs.

Through the Opioid Learning Action Network, HAP supported Pennsylvania’s hospitals as they identified best practices to increase the number of patients entering evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder and reduce overdose deaths.

Learn more about our behavioral health advocacy.