A… fight looms over Kratom…

Now, kratom advocates suggest Washington is behind the World Health Organization’s interest – an attempt to end run the federal regulatory process by taking the international route to finish what it could not accomplish domestically. The WHO’s drug dependence committee will conduct a “pre-review” of kratom. The analysis could set the stage for the drug to undergo further scrutiny by global health regulators, potentially putting it on the path to being scheduled as a controlled substance.

The FDA recently awarded a $2.3 million contract to Altasciences in Overland Park, Kan., to study kratom dosing to determine its abuse potential. But under the terms of the solicitation, the FDA holds the rights to all of the data and documentation produced by the contractor, which is subject to a confidentiality agreement. Scott Gottlieb, who served as FDA commissioner during the Trump administration, has asserted that kratom is just as dangerous as opioids, tweeting in May that he’s “convinced it’s fueling the opioid addiction crisis.” Gottlieb’s claim prompted a swift rebuke from Brett Giroir, former assistant secretary for health and acting FDA commissioner… Giroir rejected the FDA’s recommendation to classify kratom as a Schedule 1 controlled substance because “of embarrassingly poor evidence & data, and a failure to consider overall public health.” Giroir, in a 2018 memo, rescinded the HHS recommendation to outlaw kratom and called for more study and public comment… Giroir… determined that listing kratom as a Schedule I drug would stymie research and potentially steer users toward deadlier options like heroin and fentanyl. Gottlieb didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Original Article (Politico):
A global fight looms over Kratom, a possible opioid alternative
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