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Sen. Alexander Open to New NIH Spending Authority for Opioids

Dec. 7, 2017, 5:45 PM

A key senator told Bloomberg Law he’s open to giving the NIH director a new spending authority in response to the opioid crisis.

“Almost everyone in the Senate wants to speed up our efforts in opioids, especially to find a nonaddictive pain medicine,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said Dec. 7. “And if giving him [National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins] more flexibility in how he spends federal dollars will help speed up an alternative to opioids, I’m all for it.”

“So I will talk to Sen. Murray about it, and we’ll see what we can do,” he said. ...