PHARMA/POLITICS/TRUMP PEOPLE/CHRIS CHRISTIE: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will take on an advisory role to help figure out ways the Trump administration can fight the opioid epidemic.
Christie told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Wednesday [3-29-17] that as chair of a special commission he will ‘take a look at what we are doing across the entire federal government and across the country to deal with this epidemic.’
Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids quadrupled. From 2000 to 2015, more than 500,000 people died from drug overdoses, and opioids account for the majority of those deaths. It’s estimated 91 Americans die every day from this addiction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and for every death, more than 30 others are admitted to the emergency room.
The Trump administration has said opioid addiction and treatment are priorities. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump spoke about expanding incentives for states to use drug courts and mandate treatment. He also vowed to expand access to treatment slots.
The proposed Trump budget (PDF) released this month highlighted a $500 million increase from above 2016 levels to expand opioid misuse prevention efforts and to increase drug treatment. It is unclear if that increase would be from additional funds, or if it would be from money made available through the 21st Century Cures Act, which President Barack Obama signed in December. That legislation provides $1 billion for drug treatment for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.”

-Jen Christensen, “Christie will advise Trump panel on opioid addiction,” CNN Health, CNN.com, March 29, 2017