Health Beat: DHS receives $3 million grant for opioid treatment programs

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 162 views 

Editor’s note: Each Wednesday, Talk Business & Politics provides “Health Beat,” a round-up health-related topics. 

–––––––––––––––

DHS RECEIVES $3 MILLION GRANT FOR OPIOID TREATMENT PROGRAMS
The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Behavioral Health Services has received a five-year, $3 million grant to reduce opioid-related deaths by developing a comprehensive prescription drug overdose program.

Administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the grant funding is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Opioid Initiative, launched in March 2015 and focused on improving opioid prescribing practices; expanding access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder; and increasing the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses.

The division’s successful grant was modeled after a program by the Benton Police Department. Arkansas is one of 11 states to be awarded this grant. A state-level advisory council will research and recommend best practices for reducing opioid-related deaths and will collect and analyze data to determine the two or three communities with the highest needs.

Agencies and organizations within the target communities will implement, sustain, and improve effective overdose prevention and intervention services tailored to their communities.

FDA ISSUES FINAL RULE ON SAFETY, EFFECTIVENESS OF ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Sept. 2 issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed.

Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products.

This final rule applies to consumer antiseptic wash products containing one or more of 19 specific active ingredients, including the most commonly used ingredients – triclosan and triclocarban. These products are intended for use with water, and are rinsed off after use. The FDA rule does not affect consumer hand “sanitizers” or wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings.

CLARK FAMILY GIVES $300,000 FOR UAMS CHAIR HONORING FORMER SIMMONS FIRST CEO
The family of the late William E. “Bill” Clark has given $300,000 to establish a distinguished endowed chair in honor of J. Thomas May in which world-renowned radiation effects expert Martin Hauer-Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., was invested Aug. 29 at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). Hauer-Jensen, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences, surgery and pathology, is director of the Division of Radiation Health in the UAMS College of Pharmacy.

A distinguished endowed chair is the highest academic honor a university can bestow on its faculty and is established with gifts of $1.5 million or more to support the educational, research and clinical activities of the chairholder. Those named to a chair are among the most highly regarded scientists, physicians and professors in their fields of expertise.

The J. Thomas May Distinguished Endowed Chair in Oncology was funded by the family of Clark, who was chairman and CEO of CDI Contractors in Little Rock, to honor his friend May, former CEO of Simmons First National Corp.