The Trump administration has unveiled a sweeping drug policy aimed at tackling the opioid crisis, promising to make the federal government the sole repository for drug information, while also overhauling the federal drug court system.
The proposal would allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to have sole responsibility for overseeing the collection of prescription drug data from hospitals, pharmacies and clinics, with the power to compel companies to turn over records related to their sales.
Under the proposal, the CMS would have sole authority to administer the Federal Drug Administration Act of 1970, which allows the CMS to issue a notice of intent to collect drug records from hospitals and pharmacies and the U.S. Postal Service.
The plan would also direct the CMS and the FDA to coordinate the sharing of information with the DEA and other federal agencies to help combat drug abuse.
The White House said the plan would bring together two agencies with different perspectives on drug abuse and addiction: the Centers and the Federal Trade Commission.
Under President Donald Trump, the Trump White House has made a series of aggressive efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, targeting the opioid abuse epidemic and using the threat of opioids to coerce drug companies into reducing their supply.
The new proposal would put drug manufacturers on equal footing with other industries in the fight against drug abuse, the White House wrote in a fact sheet on the plan.
The administration said it would establish an office to ensure that drug makers comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including the Controlled Substances Act.
The drug plan is likely to face opposition from lawmakers and other advocates who argue that the opioid supply is not as healthy as it once was, and that the government is already under-reporting drug use in order to avoid having to pay penalties.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) are also working to coordinate efforts to curb the opioid drug crisis.
In May, the DEA announced that it was expanding its opioid data reporting requirements to include pharmacies and health care facilities, while the ODMCP is working to update federal regulations to provide better access to prescription drug information.
The Trump administration is also seeking to eliminate the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit that is one of the largest sources of drug abuse data, according to The Hill.
Under a provision of the ACA, the government pays doctors and hospitals for the use of their own pharmacy data, and the Medicare drug benefit is intended to allow for the sharing in this data.
The CMS would receive information from drug manufacturers to aid in its drug court program.