Utah Attorney General pushes FDA to continue fighting opioid addiction

FILE - Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes speaks during the Utah Republican Party convention on April 26, 2014, in Sandy, Utah. Utah's newly re-elected attorney general said Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, he is taking personal leave time to help support President Donald Trump's legal challenges to election procedures. Trump has claimed without evidence that the vote is unfair and rigged. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes has joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general pushing federal regulators to examine recent progress in their fight against opioid abuse.

According to a press report, the coalition is seeking a report regarding recent steps taken by the Food and Drug Administration to combat the opioid crisis. In a letter written to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, the attorneys general contend the requested information will help reduce prescription opioid abuse and accidental deaths.

Reyes stated that, “We have witnessed first-hand the devastation that the opioid epidemic has wrought on Utah in terms of lives lost and cost imposed on our healthcare system and the broader economy.” He went on to say, while Utah is one of the few states to see a decrease in opioid related deaths in the past year, there is still too many deaths, with COVID only making things worse.

The attorney general joined in writing, “I and my AG colleagues nationwide are committed to using all tools at our disposal to combat this epidemic and prevent future lives lost, while treating and healing addicts and empowering patients suffering from chronic pain.” He continued that the coalition is united in holding those accountable who are responsible for this plague.

The coalition’s letter seeks clarification of how the FDA is using and plans to use powers granted under the SUPPORT Act, which includes provisions for safer opioid packaging and disposal, and research of new regulations on non-addictive alternatives to opioids.

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