August 09, 2016

Manchin, Governor Tomblin Participate in Drug Abuse Roundtable with FDA Commissioner

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin participated in a drug abuse roundtable with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf in Charleston today. The Commissioner traveled to Charleston to better understand the devastating public health impact of opioid abuse in West Virginia and identify ways the FDA can better address this epidemic.

“I have asked Dr. Califf to come to West Virginia on several occasions to see the impact the opioid epidemic has had on our communities and I’m happy he’s here,” Senator Manchin. “We had a good discussion about the importance of prescriber education to ensure that physicians and other prescribers understand the dangers of opioids and the signs of opioid addiction. This is something I have pushed for in Congress. This year the FDA has made some changes to their opioid policy and I look forward to working with Dr. Califf to continue to come up with common sense solutions to curb the drug abuse epidemic in West Virginia and our country.”

“Fighting the opioid epidemic in West Virginia has been a priority of mine since becoming governor,” Gov. Tomblin said. “I am proud of the progress we have made through efforts like our HELP4WV hotline and legislation that has shut down pill mills and enhanced treatment services across the state. At the same time, we have important work to do to fill treatment gaps in certain regions of our state and address the impact of substance abuse on our workforce. I appreciate the FDA and Senator Manchin for continuing to shine a national spotlight on the good work we’ve done in West Virginia to diminish the plague of substance abuse – and plan ahead for the challenges that remain.”

Below is a list of some of the legislation that Senator Manchin has introduced to hold the FDA accountable and address the opioid abuse epidemic:

  • The Changing the Culture of the FDA: would amend the FDA’s mission statement to require the agency to take into account the public health impact of the nation’s opioid epidemic when approving and regulating opioid medications.
  • The FDA Accountability for Public Safety Act: would hold the FDA accountable for approving dangerous and highly addictive opioids by requiring that the agency seek the advice of an advisory committee and provide justification to Congress when they approve an opioid against the advice of those experts.
  • Practitioner Education: Senator Manchin introduced an amendment to CARA that would have required medical practitioners applying for or renewing their DEA license to undergo training on the treatment of opioid dependent patients, pain management guidelines, and early detection of opioid addiction.