Public Policies to Address the Opioid Crisis

The nation is experiencing a public health crisis involving licit and illicit opioids.1,2 Purdue endorses the following policies that support a comprehensive approach to reducing addiction, abuse, diversion, and overdose related to opioids.3

Limit the Duration of the First Opioid Prescription

Purdue supports medically appropriate limits on the duration (days supply) of the initial opioid prescription during a course of treatment.4 Such limits can improve prescribing practices and reduce the number of unused opioids in the community. 

Use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)

Purdue encourages prescribers to register and use PDMPs. Further, Purdue supports improved PDMP utility for clinicians, such as accessing data across state lines, allowing use by a prescriber’s delegate, and integrating information into the clinical workflow. Evidence shows PDMPs are effective in supporting appropriate clinical decision-making, reducing “doctor shopping,” and preventing prescription drug abuse and diversion.5

Require Demonstrated Competence for Opioid Prescribing

Purdue supports required demonstration of competence in opioid prescribing as a condition for initial or renewed registration with the DEA to prescribe opioid analgesics.6 Prescribers can demonstrate competency by completion of specific training on the risks and appropriate use of opioids or by certification from a relevant specialty board. Healthcare professionals who possess current and accurate knowledge of opioids are more likely to make appropriate prescribing decisions, thereby reducing risks to the individual and to the public.

Expand the Use of Naloxone

Purdue supports increased access to naloxone, an opioid reversal agent, to reduce deaths from opioid overdose. Policies to expand use include greater availability of naloxone for use by law enforcement and other first responders; appropriate civil immunity to persons aiding in a potential overdose situation (“Good Samaritan” laws); and ability to obtain naloxone without a prescription.7,8

Expand Access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder

Purdue supports affordable, culturally appropriate, convenient, and timely access to MAT.9,10 Policies to expand access to MAT include increasing workforce capacity, improving insurance coverage, and reducing stigma. Evidence shows that combining the judicious use of medications approved by the FDA specifically for use in managing opioid addiction with counseling and behavioral therapies effectively treats opioid use disorder.

Encourage Adoption of Abuse-Deterrent Formulations

Purdue supports removing barriers to the appropriate clinical use of opioid analgesics with abuse-deterrent properties (ADP) as recognized by the FDA. While the FDA has approved several opioids with ADP, the vast majority of opioids dispensed lack such properties.11,12 Development and use of opioids with ADP are parts of a comprehensive approach to reduce the abuse of opioid analgesics.13

References

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Office of Applied Studies. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). 2014. At: http://www.samhsa.gov/prescription-drug-misuse-abuse Accessed 03/14/17.
  2. Rudd RA, Seth P, David F, Scholl L. Increases in Drug and Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths — United States, 2010–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 16 December 2016. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6550e1 Accessed 03/14/17.
  3. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. 2011. At: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/policy-and-research/rx_abuse_plan.pdf Accessed 03/14/17.
  4. H.4056. The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. An Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention. Section 24. At: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2016/Chapter52 Accessed 03/14/17. 
  5. Worley, J. “Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, a Response to Doctor Shopping: Purpose, Effectiveness, and Directions for Future Research,” Issues in Mental Health Nursing 2012 (33)5: 319-328.
  6. Office of National Drug Control Policy. Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis. 2011. At: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/policy-and-research/rx_abuse_plan.pdf Healthcare Provider Education, p3, bullet 1. Accessed 03/14/17.
  7. Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation. Opioid Abuse in the U.S. and HHS Actions to Address Opioid-Drug Related Overdoses and Death. ASPE Issue Brief. 2015. At: https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/107956/ib_OpioidInitiative.pdf Accessed 03/14/17.
  8. State Naloxone and Good Samaritan Legislation, as of December, 2015. At: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ondcp/Blog/naloxonecirclechart_january2016.pdf Accessed 03/14/17.
  9. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. America’s Need for and Receipt of Substance Use Treatment in 2015. At: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2716/ShortReport-2716.pdf  Accessed 03/14/17.
  10. Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Policy & Evaluation. Opioid Abuse in the U.S. and HHS Actions to Address Opioid-Drug Related Overdoses and Death. ASPE Issue Brief. 2015. At: https://aspe.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/107956/ib_OpioidInitiative.pdf Accessed 03/14/17.
  11. FDA Facts: Abuse-Deterrent Opioid Medications. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/FactSheets/ucm514939.htm Accessed 03/14/17.
  12. IMS Health NPA. Data on file. Prescriptions for opioid analgesics with ADP labeling as percentage of total prescriptions for opioid analgesics for the 12-month period ending December 2016.
  13. Fact Sheet – FDA Opioids Action Plan. At: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/NewsEvents/Newsroom/FactSheets/UCM484743.pdf, bullet 5. Accessed 03/14/17.
Close

We’re setting a new standard at Purdue Pharma, by learning from the past while focusing on the future. Watch here to learn more.

 
Skip the Video
-->