While it has only been a few months since the first American was diagnosed with COVID-19, the scope of the pandemic is one which we have never experienced before. Throughout, it has become abundantly clear that our nation’s ability to effectively respond to this once-in-a-lifetime crisis depends on the public and private sectors joining forces, maintaining constant coordination, and working together to identify operational and regulatory barriers impeding access to medicines and medical supplies.
In October 2018, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation offered a comprehensive response to the prescription opioid abuse epidemic — its enactment marked a significant step towards advancing meaningful solutions to address this public health crisis.
With a new year in full swing, HDA President and CEO John M. Gray looked ahead to the organization’s 2019 priorities (along with other industry association executives) as part of the Chain Drug Review “Pharmacy Outlook” feature.
A new report by Avalere Health, "Trends in Opioid Use: History, Background, and Origins of the Epidemic," comes at a critical point in the broader discussion about opioid abuse and misuse, and provides important context around the clinical, regulatory and policy milestones that contributed to the public health epidemic and impacted the national response to the crisis.
Disposing of unused prescription opioids safely and as soon as they are no longer needed can help prevent these medicines from falling into the wrong hands. Data show that opioid misuse often starts in the home, with more than 40 percent of those who misused prescription pain relievers obtaining the medication from a friend or relative for free.