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Expand chart
Data: Avalere; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The supply of prescription opioids is falling in almost every state, but Congress and the private sector still have a lot more to do to stem the tide of a still-growing epidemic.

Between the lines: States with laws limiting opioid prescriptions have seen the steepest declines in supply, suggesting that intervention can work. That's good news for both Congress and a coalition of health industry players responding to the crisis.

Only 10% of people suffering from a substance use disorder get specialty treatment. Some don't have insurance and thus can't afford it, but treatment can be inaccessible even for people with coverage.

  • “Right now, there’s not even availability of many qualified caregivers in many parts of the country for opioid abuse treatment," said Mark McClellan, who held senior positions at the Department of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration and worked to develop a new industry roadmap.
  • Providers in turn complain that insurers create barriers to treatment access, including through "prior authorization" requirements.

The House is finishing up a two-week sprint of passing opioid-related bills, some of which could have a substantial impact.

  • This week's biggest bills are one that lifts the "IMD exclusion" for those with opioid use disorder, which will help Medicaid enrollees gain access to treatment, and one that allows substance use disorder to be included on a patient's medical records.

Yes, but: While Congress approved nearly $4 billion for the opioid crisis in the spending bill this year, there's still a huge need for more treatment funding.

  • “It seems there is a real financing gap," McClellan said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

10 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 12 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

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