Trump officials take new step to encourage opioid abuse treatments

Trump officials take new step to encourage opioid abuse treatments
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday took a step to encourage the development of more drugs to treat opioid addiction.

The FDA issued guidance to encourage the development of more drugs that can be used in what is known as Medication Assisted Treatment, a leading way to treat people with opioid addiction, through using certain drugs to reduce dependence on opioids.

“The Trump Administration is pursuing every opportunity to address our country’s opioid epidemic and support patients struggling with opioid use disorder,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

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“The evidence is clear: medication-assisted treatment works, and it is a key piece of defeating the drug crisis facing our country,” he added. “The FDA’s new guidances have the potential to bring new medications to market that are more closely tailored to patient needs and help give Americans facing addiction a better chance at recovery.”

A lack of access to effective medication-assisted treatment is one of the main challenges in fighting the opioid epidemic.

Specifically, the new guidance seeks to encourage the development of more drugs that can be used in medication assisted treatment by expanding the criteria that can be used in clinical trials. That could help get more drugs approved.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called the move an “important step in fostering the development of new treatment options.”