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White House Drug Commission Partners With Big Pharma To Limit Painkiller Scripts

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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A major pharmaceutical company is joining with the White House to enact strict limits on prescription painkiller supplies in an effort to curb rampant opioid addiction nationwide.

President Donald Trump’s opioid commission, led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, gave an update Wednesday on its efforts to investigate the causes and scope of America’s opioid epidemic. Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry joined the commission to establish new partnerships to both limit the negative impacts of opioid-based medication and fast track non-opioid alternatives that are not addictive, reports CBS News.

The president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) announced his company’s commitment to limiting prescription opioid supplies to a seven-day limit. The pharmaceutical industry has typically advised 30-day supplies for painkillers, something experts say increases the risk of addiction and long-term abuse of the drugs.

Christie applauded the actions, saying these kinds of reforms are key to ensuring that “we don’t turn people into addicts inadvertently.”

“The fact the pharmaceutical industry is admitting this, is an important first step to limit the amount of these drugs that are out there that can be used inappropriately,” Christie said Wednesday, according to CBS News.

Officials with the National Institutes of Health also joined the conversation at the White House, encouraging cooperation between drug makers and the government as a way to fast-track pain medication that is not opioid-based.

Seventeen of the major drug makers in the U.S. have already agreed to share roughly 40 different compounds with each other that they hope will lead to the creation of a non-addictive pain medication.

Trump created the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis through an executive order March 29, and tapped Christie to lead the efforts. In an interim report given to Trump July 31, the commission implored him to declare the crisis a national emergency, noting that “with approximately 142 Americans dying every day, America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

“Can you imagine this country putting up with 17 9/11s every year?” Christie said Monday, according to NJ.com. “It’s unacceptable.”

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