President Trump signs opioid bill into law; 21 companies pledge support

President Donald Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act Oct. 24 to increase the country's opioid epidemic response efforts.

The bill focuses on improving access to treatment services by removing patient restrictions on Medicaid and Medicare, according to NPR. The bill also addresses health systems overprescribing opioids and allows government authorities to research nonaddictive drugs for patient pain management. In addition, the bill establishes measures to check for foreign shipments of illicit drugs to the U.S.

The White House also welcomed 21 private sector and nonprofit partners to the bill signing. Each organization pledged to contribute in different ways to end the opioid epidemic.

Here are the 21 companies and their contributions:

1. Amazon will give first responders more efficient access to critical medical records and programmed Alexa to answer questions about opioids and addiction.

2. In 2019, Belden Industries will expand its employment rehab program to additional U.S. facilities and provide a blueprint for companies to established recovery support for their employees.

3. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association will launch Blue Distinction Centers for Substance Use Treatment and Recovery. BCBS will also establish a free national hotline to help anyone locate treatment centers.

4. Cigna is partnering with the Veterans Health Administration to improve access to opioid addiction treatment and help veterans' pain management efforts. Within three years, Cigna and the Department of Veterans Affairs will work toward reducing opioid overdoses by 25 percent in different communities.

5. CVS Health will install 1,100 additional medication disposal units and, by the end of 2019, reach 250,000 students and parents with its opioid abuse prevention program.

6. Dispose RX committed to stopping opioid abuse by giving DisposeRx packets to remove more than 10 million opioids from the U.S. population.

7. Emergent BioSolutions will offer free Narcan nasal spray at all 16,568 libraries and 2,700 YMCA locations in the U.S.

8. Facebook is addressing the opioid epidemic through partnerships with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Helpline in Search, the Ad Council PSA and the Drug Enforcement Administrations's Take Back Day Oct. 27.

9. Global Teen Challenge will build a national treatment information system to inform their 250 U.S. treatment centers about groundbreaking addiction treatment.

10. Google created a locator tool for National Take Back Day Oct. 27 that will promote locations on the homepage. Google will also launch a partnership with Walgreens to incorporate drug disposal locations on Google Maps.

11. Johnson & Johnson will educate U.S. nurses and physicians to combat substance abuse. The company also launched an opioid addiction awareness campaign, reaching more than 2.5 million expecting parents at BabyCenter.

12. Leidos will donate $3 million to opioid causes, will educate its workforce of 32,000 employees and will launch an alliance with other companies to address the opioid epidemic.

13. MyPillow will launch the Lindell Recovery Network to bring recovery and mentorship to people struggling with opioid use disorder.

14. National Head Start Association will expand its Head Start community through training its 245,792 staff members in about 21,000 centers nationwide on the effect of substance abuse disorder on children and families.

15. National Safety Council spread continued awareness through its Prescribed to Death traveling memorial and will educate 1,000 more physicians on their prescribing practices.=

16. Red Cross will offer its online course called First Aid for Opioid Overdoses. This online course will help people respond to suspected opioid overdoses and cooperate opioid education in more than 3 million yearly first-aid-trainings.

17. Rite Aid will offer free Dispose Rx packets with new opioid prescriptions. The Rite Aid Foundation installed 312 disposal units and launched an educational program, Prescription Drug Safety Initiative, geared toward students across the U.S.

18. Ultimate Fighting Championship will launch a public service campaign to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic by using UFC athletes, social media platforms and popular live events on the dangers of opioid abuse.

19. Unshattered will partner with recovery centers across the U.S. Unshattered will also provide employment and job training to double the number of women they serve by the end of 2020.

20. Walgreens will expand its permanent medication disposal program to all of its U.S. stores. Walgreens will partner with Google to provide information about its disposal sites on Google's platform.

21. Walmart will limit initial, acute opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply, will use analytic software to block illicit prescriptions and require electronic prescriptions for all scheduled drugs by January 2020.

More articles on opioids: 

CMS rolls out payment model for pregnant women with opioid use disorder
Drug overdose deaths fell over last 6 months, CDC finds
EMRs are hospitals' tech-of-choice for opioid management, KLAS finds

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