Experts Say Wolf Administration’s Opioid Epidemic Response Could Be National Model (Round-Up)

By: Governor Tom Wolf's Office of Communications

December 17, 2018

On Thursday, the American Medical Association (AMA) and Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) announced a recent study of state responses to the opioid epidemic showed Pennsylvania had made “considerable progress” toward curbing substance abuse disorder in the commonwealth.

“We conducted this analysis because it’s essential that policymakers know what is working, and where additional progress can be made,” said Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, AMA president-elect and chair of the AMA Opioid Task Force. “There is long way to go to fully end the epidemic in Pennsylvania and across the nation, but it’s clear that Pennsylvania’s policymakers are employing multiple strategies that are showing promise.”

The recognition came amid Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now week, a multi-agency effort to stopping overdoses through a week of events. On Thursday, the Wolf Administration distributed more than 6,100 naloxone kits across the state.

For more details on AMA and PAMED’s recognition of the Wolf Administration’s opioid effort or Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now week, see below for excerpts of articles and op-eds from across the state.

Take a look at the coverage below:

  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: From lagging to leading: Doctors group says PA is now a trailblazer in opioid response

    “As Pennsylvania gave away the overdose reversal drug naloxone at dozens of locations across the state Thursday, its response to the opioid epidemic won praise from the American Medical Association in a first-of-its-kind report.

    The state announced Friday that 80 sites distributed a total of 6,105 kits of naloxone Thursday, including 926 in Allegheny County, which trailed top-giver Philadelphia by just 101 kits. Beaver County distributed 42 kits, Butler 66, Westmoreland 127 and Washington 57.

    It was a day that would have been hard to imagine as recently as 2016, when Pennsylvania lagged behind in almost every conceivable measure in addressing the issue. Now, just two years removed from having neither an effective prescription drug monitoring program nor any official prescribing guidelines, the state is being lauded as a trailblazer.

    Officials from the AMA and the Pennsylvania Medical Society deemed the state a model in its approach to increasing access to treatment for addiction, enhancing access to naloxone and providing comprehensive care to patients with pain.”

  • The Tribune-Democrat: State’s response to opioid crisis could be model, AMA finds

    “Pennsylvania has become a national leader in getting insurers to make it easier for people with addiction get access to treatment.

    That’s the conclusion of an American Medical Association (AMA) report analyzing the state’s response to the opioid epidemic released Thursday.”

  • The Erie Times: Our View: Wolf’s Opioid Leadership Stands Out

    “It is not exactly a traditional holiday giveaway. Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is stepping forward not with turkeys or toys, but with a sobering gift that could prove lifesaving.”

  • Associated Press: Thousands of anti-overdose kits handed out in Pennsylvania

    “Pennsylvania officials say thousands of kits of the anti-overdose medication naloxone have been distributed in a statewide effort designed to prevent opioid deaths.

    The Health Department said demand for the handouts at government offices on Thursday caused dozens of locations to run out of the drug.”

  • Chambersburg Public Opinion: Health centers distribute free naloxone supply in 4 hours

    “More than 40 locations where the state distributed free naloxone Thursday ran out of the overdose reversal medication halfway through the eight-hour distribution period.

    The Chambersburg location ran out within two hours.”

  • The Daily Item: Free naloxone just part of next step

    “In another attempt at slowing the raging drug epidemic in Pennsylvania, state officials have designated this week Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week. Among the projects highlighted this week is a plan to hand out free naxolone kits — a medication that has proven effective in reversing the effects of opioid overdoses — to anyone who wants one on Thursday.”

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