An Op-Ed article written for the Washington Post by guest writers offers a relatively easy and pain-free way for the Trump administration to make a huge dent in the opioid crisis, with a stroke of a pen. Robert Weissman, president of nonprofit Public Citizen, and Leana Wen, Baltimore City health commissioner, co-authored the article where they point out a governmental power the President has access to but has not yet pulled out: a patent law provision allowing the government to use an invention without permission, as long as the patent holder is recompensed reasonably. Using this provision, the government could buy and sell opioid-overdose medicine naloxone at a drastically reduced price, making it easier to react to patients in need. The government has done this before, after the anthrax scare post-9/11.
President Trump declared the opioid addiction epidemic a public-health emergency in October, but more than seven months later, he and his administration have yet to take the steps that would help those fighting the epidemic on the front lines. Addressing a crisis that is devastating communities across the country and killing more Americans than gun violence or car crashes requires the federal government to take difficult actions — including providing robust resources and aggressively challenging the stigma associated with addiction.
But there also are easy actions to take, and the federal government is failing there, too. One that could be done with the stroke of a pen: Use existing legal authority to slash prices for the lifesaving drug naloxone — an opioid-overdose antidote — and for its easy-to-use, patented delivery devices. Click Here to Continue Reading
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