Schneider Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging Funding for Next-Generation Opioid Overdose Antidotes
This week, U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL) led a bipartisan group of 18 Members of Congress in support of robust funding for critical opioid-related research toward next-generation overdose antidotes and other developments to curb the opioid epidemic.
In a letter to the Appropriations Committee, the signers underscored the need for research into stronger overdose antidotes, noting that an increasing number of opioid deaths, including nearly half in 2016, involve powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. The overdose antidotes in use today are less effective in combatting these powerful synthetics, and sometimes require multiple doses to revive a patient.
“Powerful synthetic drugs represent a deadly and growing challenge in our effort to contain and treat the opioid epidemic,” said Schneider. “We must continue supporting expanded research to develop effective next-generation drugs to counter ever more dangerous synthetic opioids, while also working on non-addictive alternatives to treating pain. I urge my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to give full consideration to our request to fund this life-saving work.”
The letter specifically requests $5 billion over the next five years for the Opioid Initiative within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a public-private research partnership to address opioid misuse.
The bipartisan letter was co-led by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT), as well as the co-chairs of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force Reps. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH).