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BIO Releases Plan to Unleash Innovation in Fight against Opioid Abuse and Addiction

November 2, 2017

Washington, DC (November 2, 2017) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) today released a set of priorities for unleashing the power of innovation to develop solutions to prescription opioid abuse and addiction.

Many of BIO’s priorities align with recommendations put forth yesterday by the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, including proposals to ensure that patients have comprehensive access to appropriate treatments, and increasing support for basic research to improve our understanding of the biology of pain and addiction. Such recommendations outlined by the Commission include:

  • Removal of reimbursement and policy barriers in federal health programs including limitations to access to FDA-approved medications, to allow for better access to alternative pain as well as substance abuse treatments; and
  • Thorough review of existing research programs and the establishment of new research goals for the prevention and treatment of pain and addiction across agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, including the Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health.

In addition to the points of alignment above, BIO’s priorities aim to change the paradigm for the treatment of pain and addiction through:

  • Increased leadership engagement, expertise, and resources within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to promote effective and efficient review of innovative treatments for pain and addiction;
  • Modernizing and streamlining the drug development and review processes to enable effective and efficient drug development and review; and
  • The establishment and utilization of expedited approval pathways for novel treatments for pain and addiction.

“Long-term solutions to combating our nation’s opioid epidemic will depend upon biomedical innovation and the development of novel and safer, next generation therapies to treat both pain and addiction,” said BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood. “To get these new innovations to the patients whose lives depend on them, we must ensure that the policy and regulatory environment keeps pace with advances happening in the lab. Our plan outlines concrete steps that can be taken to work toward an America free of prescription opioid addiction.”

“We applaud the work of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, and other stakeholders to unleash the full potential of biomedical innovation to solve the opioid crisis.”

To view the full BIO document, please visit:

About BIO
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world. BIOtechNOW is BIO's blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter. Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.

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