Dear Deputy Assistant Secretary Destro,
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to respond to your Request For Information by offering the following comments.
My name is Jeffrey A. Singer, MD. I am a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, where I work in the Department of Health Policy studies. The Cato Institute is a 501(c)(3) educational foundation dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Its scholars conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues. To maintain its independence, the Cato Institute accepts no government funding. Cato receives approximately 80 percent of its funding through tax-deductible contributions from individuals. The remainder of its support comes from foundations, corporations, and the sale of books and publications.
My focus of public policy research is the overdose crisis plaguing the US and much of the developed world, as well as the harmful effects resulting from non-medical use of licit and illicit drugs in an underground market fueled by drug prohibition, seeking best approaches to mitigate those harms. My work at the Cato Institute is also informed and bolstered by the fact that I am a general surgeon in private clinical practice in Phoenix, Arizona for over 35 years, and have directly treated acute and chronic surgical patients in pain, many with cancer or critical surgical illnesses, from the time of presentation, through the postoperative period, and during outpatient recovery. I received my BA in Biology at Brooklyn College (City University of New York), my MD at New York Medical College, and completed my specialty residency in general surgery at the Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, after which I became certified by the American Board of Surgery. I am a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. My work has appeared in the peer-reviewed medical and scientific literature, as well as in national and regional periodicals and journals read by the general public.