President Obama recently signed the 21st Century Cures Act. The act, originally proposed to enhance the development of new drug products, expanded in scope to include many different long-reaching healthcare initiatives. Among many actions, the act raises $500 million for both 2017 and 2018 to help fight the opioid epidemic.
Money will be awarded as grants to individual states for the purposes of addressing the opioid abuse crisis, so long as the funds are used for the following:
- Improving state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)
- Implementing prevention activities, and evaluating such activities to identify effective strategies to prevent opioid abuse
- Training for healthcare professionals regarding opioid best practices, pain management, recognizing abuse, referring patients to treatment programs, and overdose prevention
- Supporting access to healthcare services for opioid use disorders
- Any other appropriate public health activities related to addressing the opioid abuse crisis
The act will also give preference to states with higher level of opioid use disorders.
For further information, read the act in full online.