The White House announced new measures to fight the U.S. opioid epidemic on Friday, including nearly $1.5B in funding allocated to states and territories to raise awareness and increase access to overdose reversal agents such as naloxone.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the opioid crisis has led to more than 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021, indicating a nearly 15% rise from the past year.
“President Biden recognizes the devastating impact the overdose epidemic has had on this nation – reaching large cities, small towns, tribal lands, and every community in between,” The White House said in a statement detailing the actions taken as part of the recovery efforts.
The ~$1.5B grant from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be channeled towards states, tribal lands, and territories to support measures such as increasing access to substance use disorder treatment and removing barriers to naloxone.
Recently, drugmakers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and drug distributors McKesson (MCK), AmerisourceBergen (ABC), and Cardinal Health (CAH) have struck multi-billion dollar deals to settle nationwide claims related to their role in the opioid crisis.