ATLANTA (April 20, 2023) — As xylazine and fentanyl-related overdose deaths continue to surge nationwide, more than 3,000 stakeholders “from federal to family” working to address this crisis gathered for HMP Global’s 2023 Rx and Illicit Drug Summit, the largest annual meeting focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery.
Rx Summit was held April 10 – 13 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The educational program addressed a rapidly changing addiction and enforcement landscape, with expert-led sessions that incorporated evolving data and emerging threats with the most up-to-date information possible.
During Rx Summit:
- Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), announced that the Biden-Harris administration officially designated fentanyl adulterated or associated with xylazine as an emerging threat to the United States. It is the first time this designation authority was used since it passed Congress in 2018.
“By declaring xylazine combined with fentanyl as an emerging threat, we are being proactive in our approach to save lives and creating new tools for public health and public safety officials and communities across the nation,” Gupta said.
- A bipartisan congressional panel discussed federal policy and legislation that could help save lives. Panelists included U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, Dean of the House and Rx Summit founder, and U.S. Reps. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter and Andrew Clyde of Georgia, David Trone of Maryland, and Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania. Panelists discussed securing the southern border, expanding access to live-saving naloxone, treatment for substance use disorder, and criminal justice reform.
- Sam Rivera, Executive Director of OnPoint NYC and a speaker at Rx Summit, was named to TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023. The announcement came on April 13, the morning that Rivera spoke in a plenary session from the main stage at Rx Summit. Rivera’s work to help those with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) includes judgement-free support and connections to care, helping prevent death and hasten recovery.
- HMP Education, a subsidiary of HMP Global, announced training opportunities aligned with new requirements for Drug Enforcement Administration registration. Earlier this year, President Biden signed into law the Medication Access and Training Expansion (MATE) Act, requiring professionals who are renewing their DEA registration as of June 27, 2023, to have completed at least eight hours of opioid or other substance use disorder training. Accredited training for this requirement is available through Rx Summit and, later this spring, HMP Education is launching an online platform making this training accessible virtually.
- The Ad Council worked with Rx Summit to raise awareness of the deadly consequences of fentanyl misuse. Through two powerful national campaigns, Drop the F*Bomb and The Real Deal on Fentanyl, the Ad Council is educating parents and youth on the dangers of misusing this synthetic opioid.
- The Congressman Hal Rogers Beacon of Hope Award was presented to April Rovero, Founder and Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse (NCAPDA). Rovero leads all aspects of the organization and is active on numerous coalitions committed to addressing drug misuse. This award is awarded annually at Rx Summit to a changemaker working to address the addiction crisis and inspiring others to do the same.
- With the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of over-the-counter Narcan, a rapid opioid reversal medication, Rx Summit featured sessions on naloxone (the active ingredient in Narcan) and making this life-saving drug more widely accessible. The Exhibit Hall also featured naloxone vending machines and other rapid response products and services, including automated healthcare kiosks, and mobile clinics.
Rx Summit is the largest national collaboration of professionals from local, state, and federal agencies, business, academia, treatment providers, and allied communities impacted by prescription drug misuse and illicit drug use. It is the leading event for decision-makers and allied professionals working to address this public health emergency.
“Rx Summit has a strong focus on bringing people together across disciplines and across communities to network and develop strategies for prevention, treatment, and recovery,” said Doug Edwards, Senior Vice President, HMP Education. “The critical work being done at Rx Summit will ripple out into communities throughout the nation. As overdose deaths continue at alarming rates, it is vital to raise awareness of this issue and develop solutions that save lives.”
The 2023 educational agenda included a diverse array of session topics along nine learning tracks: Clinical, Prevention – Overdose, Prevention – Primary, Public Safety, Advocacy, Treatment & Recovery, Technology, Trending Topics, and Illicit Drugs.
“Rx Summit was a great opportunity to meet people and network,” said Guanhui Chen, a post-graduate year 1 pharmacy resident and a presenter at Rx Summit. “This is the biggest conference I have ever attended, and our session on xylazine was very well received. People approached us afterward and asked questions for 45 minutes. … It was an honor to be here.”
Joanna Risby, managed care pharmacy resident with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, said she had the opportunity to talk to people from multiple states about the role of pharmacies in the drug misuse and overdose crisis.
“We are working to expand access into rural communities and end stigmas in Tennessee,” she said. “I had a lot of conversations about what other states are doing and how they are getting people on board with recovery. It was great to share ideas and hear different perspectives.”
Participants and attendees included counselors, social workers, therapists, psychologists, and interventionists; physicians, psychiatrists, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists; advocates, families, and people in recovery; law enforcement and other first responders; and public health and prevention professionals.
For more information, visit rx-summit.com.
ABOUT HMP GLOBAL
HMP Global is the force behind Healthcare Made Practical — and is an omnichannel leader in healthcare content, events, and education, with a mission to improve patient care. The company produces accredited medical education events — in person and online via its proprietary VRTX virtual platform — and clinically relevant, evidence-based content for the global healthcare community across a range of therapeutic areas. Its brands include the HMP Global Learning Network, healthcare's most comprehensive source for news and information; Psych Congress, the largest independent mental health meeting in the U.S.; the Evolution of Psychotherapy, the world’s largest independent educational event for mental health professionals; the Leipzig Interventional Course (LINC), the leading, global gathering for interdisciplinary cardiovascular specialists; EMS World Expo, North America's largest EMT and paramedic event; and the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care (SAWC), the largest wound care meeting in the world. For more information, visit hmpglobal.com.