The Fast-Track Action Committee on Health Science and Technology Response to the Opioid Crisis, under the Office of Science and Technology Policy, released a draft report titled Health Research & Development to Stem the Opioid Crisis: A Federal Roadmap in November 2018. The Committee is accepting public comments on the report until December 5, 2018.
The Roadmap represents a step toward fulfilling the Committee’s mission of coordinating federal health research and development (R&D) and other related science and technology activities across relevant agencies to support the national response to the opioid crisis. Specifically, the Roadmap describes key gaps in R&D knowledge and tools, and identifies necessary R&D coordination improvements to facilitate the opioid crisis response. Recommendations for these R&D topics are presented in seven categories:
- Biology and Chemistry of Pain and Opioid Addiction;
- Non-Biological Contributors to Opioid Addiction;
- Pain Management;
- Prevention of Opioid Addiction;
- Treatment of Opioid Addiction and Withdrawal;
- Overdose Prevention and Recovery; and
- Community Consequences of Opioid Addiction.
Each of these sections contains key recommendations grounded in biology, technology, public health, sociocultural and socioeconomic factors, and other elements that contribute to the opioid epidemic. Together, the Committee hopes that these recommendations will bolster R&D to accelerate the federal response to the opioid crisis.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 115 people die due to opioid overdose every day in the U.S., and opioid misuse costs the U.S. an estimated $78.5 billion annually to address. The Trump administration declared the opioid crisis a national Public Health Emergency in October 2017 and has prioritized developing a national strategy to combat the crisis.