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Jeffrey Davis Director of Regulatory and External Affairs at ACEP

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  • The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) will likely be extended for another 90-days once it reaches the current sunset date of July 15. The Administration promised that it would give 60-days notice before deciding to end the PHE (which would have been around May 16), and did not provide such notice. The continuation of the PHE means that the waivers and flexibilities that federal agencies have instituted to help health care practitioners and facilities respond to the pandemic will remain in place.
  • On May 11, the CDC released new provisional data on Wednesday on drug overdose deaths, with an estimated 107,622 deaths caused by drug overdose in the U.S. in 2021. Of the estimated 107,622 deaths from drug overdose in 2021, over 75 percent (80,816) were caused by opioids. Overdose deaths from all drugs increased 15 percent over 2020, when an estimated 93,655 people died, as compared to a 30 percent increase in the number of drug overdose deaths from 2019 to 2020.
  • There is a shortage of IV contrast media used for CT scans. The temporary closure of a facility in Shanghai, China that produces the contrast media will result in an 80 percent reduction in supply availability for six to eight weeks. ACEP has been in touch with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the shortage and will work with the federal government and other association partners on potential solutions and mitigation strategies. Emergency physicians should work with their local radiologists to determine which cases require the use of IV contrast. The American College of Radiology (ACR) has also issued a statement on the shortage, advising their members to actively reduce the use of contrast.

 

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