An estimated 15.7 million people aged 12 or older have used prescription drugs non-medically in the past year, according to Dr. Wayne Winegarden’s State Factor on the American opioid crisis. In 2008, the record of abuse and misuse of prescription opioids accounted for an estimated $55.7 million in healthcare, workplace and criminal justice costs. Many states face regulatory and legislative barriers that make it difficult or unlikely for patients to access new abuse-deterrent opioid formulations. This report explores the benefits of abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs) of prescription opioids and offers lawmakers aiming to address addiction issues in their states recommendations on how to expand patient access to the new medical technologies that treat pain and help prevent opioid abuse.
“Some regions of the United States are experiencing a crisis with prescription opioid abuse and misuse, and elected officials are looking at all options to help individuals and families overcome addiction. Any way we can educate lawmakers about allowing access to abuse deterrent opioids for pain patients at higher risk for addiction could give many a new lease on life.”
-Mia Heck, Director of the ALEC Task Force on Health and Human Services
“Effective and targeted legislation can address existing regulatory disincentives, allowing the abuse-deterrent opioids to compete in the medical marketplace based on their medical efficacy. Correcting the disincentives that discourage appropriate use of abuse-deterrent opioids is a reform opportunity that addresses an important health need, reduces overall health care expenditures, lowers criminal justice costs, and beneficially impacts overall workplace productivity.”
-Dr. Wayne Winegarden, Optimizing the Abuse-deterrent Opioids Market