PODCAST: The Domestic Opioid Epidemic

A Post Pandemic OVERDOSE AND ADDICTION Update

By NIHCM Foundation

The opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities, with provisional data showing overdose death rates rising during the pandemic. Isolation and economic upheaval, as well as hindered access to treatment options and support systems, have increased the risk of addiction and relapse. These new pressures exist along with the stigma that often prevents people from receiving care for substance use disorder (SUD) and the ongoing need to adopt harm reduction strategies.

Speakers Discuss:

  • The latest federal priorities for addressing the overdose and addiction epidemic, including a focus on harm reduction efforts and ensuring racial equity in drug policy
  • Strategies for state agencies to meet existing and increasing SUD treatment needs
  • A health plan’s innovative approaches to expand SUD care through an in-home addiction treatment program and recovery coaches

Opioid use in Larimer County continues as drug becomes ...

ASSESSMENT: And so, this podcast / webinar further explores solutions to reduce overdose rates, with a focus on efforts to expand access to evidence-based recovery programs after the corona virus pandemic.

PODCAST / WEBINAR HERE: https://nihcm.org/publications/addressing-the-growing-overdose-and-addiction-epidemic?utm_source=NIHCM+Foundation&utm_campaign=f78ae3a137-05242021_Webinar_Archive&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6f88de9846-f78ae3a137-167744768

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

THANK YOU

***

The Opioid Crisis Rising [2000 – 2017]

More Age Groups Affected

[By NIHCM]

***

***

Invite Dr. Marcinko

***

Geographic Variations in Opioid Prescription Rates

For 2017

By http://www.MCOL.com

***

***

Invite Dr. Marcinko

BUSINESS, ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR & FINANCE FOR DOCTORS:

THANK YOU

***

About the Opioid Crisis

And, Drug Distributors

[By Vitaliy Katsenelson CFA]

I don’t know anyone personally who has been affected by the opioid epidemic in the US. And I truly hope I never will. I don’t know if I would be able to maintain objectivity in my analysis of drug distributors and their involvement in this epidemic if I had experienced getting a call at night informing me that my loved one had died from a drug overdose. Drug overdoses killed 70,237 Americans in 2017. Of these deaths, 47,600 (67.8%) involved opioids and 17,000 involved prescription opioids (24% of total overdose deaths). Legally prescribed opioids are killing 47 of us every day.

How did we get here?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse: “In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This subsequently led to widespread diversion and misuse of these medications before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.”

Today pharma distributors are used as scapegoats for the opioid epidemic – not because they are guilty but because they have money and they are “drug distributors.” They are dragged through the same mud as the tobacco companies and British Petroleum (after it spilled millions of gallons of oil in the Gulf of Mexico). Despite negative headlines, we own drug distributors.

Here is why:

They distribute legally prescribed medicine to pharmacies that are approved by several government agencies, including the DEA. Doctors write scripts; pharma distributors order medicine from pharma manufacturers and deliver them to pharmacies. The sad truth about the opioid epidemic is that 21-29% of patients who were prescribed them for chronic pain misused them, and 8-12% of those who received an opioid prescription developed an opioid use disorder.
However, just as truck drivers cannot be held liable for delivering cigarettes to convenience stores, pharma distributors are not manufacturers of drugs and cannot be held liable for the addictive properties of the drugs they distribute or the fact that doctors overprescribe them and patients misuse them.
Also, the DEA should be responsible for limiting the illegal use of opioids. That is its job – DEA stands for Drug Enforcement Agency. It has legal and enforcement resources that distributors lack. And it has a lot more data and tools. Drug distributors do their part and provide data to the ARCOS database that DEA manages.
***
drugs
***
However, each individual distributor has data only for the drugs it distributes, while DEA has data (which it doesn’t share with distributors) for all opioid sales to pharmacies. The DEA is in a much better position to spot suspicious activity in orders than distributors. The DEA controls how much legal opioid is manufactured in the US every year and has been increasing quotas of opioids produced.
Opioids constitute only a very small percentage of the $450 billion in drugs distributed in the US, and thus incentives for distributors to overdistribute opioids are very limited. Though lawyers and the media keep saying that distributors are some of the largest companies in the S&P 500 by sales, they forget to mention that distributors operate on razor thin margins of less than 2%. Comparing the distributors (not even the makers) of legal medicine, that helps millions of people cope with excruciating pain, to cigarette companies that have a 40% pretax profit margin on a product that doesn’t have a societal benefit, and is almost guaranteed to cause cancer if you use it long enough, creates awesome headlines but has little substance.
  • What if DEA was the one distributing all the opioid drugs to pharmacies instead of McKesson, Cardinal Health, and Amerisource Bergen?
  • Would fewer people get addicted to opioids?
  • Would opioids be less accessible? Remember, DEA sets the production targets every year.
Maybe DEA would catch a few bad actors sooner – it has more data than distributors and a specific skillset and mindset aimed at catching criminals.
But in the big scheme of things, even if DEA distributed opioids nothing would really change. Doctors would still prescribe them; some patients would still get addicted to them … and so on. Distributors will likely settle lawsuits for two reasons:
First, McKesson already settled with the FDA for $150 million for “failure to report suspicious orders of pharmaceutical drugs.”
***
Second, McKesson and other drug distributors don’t want to be involved in costly and protracted litigation. We don’t know how much the settlement will be, but it is very unlikely to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars and likely (see reasons above) to be hundreds of millions or a few billion dollars.
***
Assessment
Today McKessonʻs market capitalization is $25 billion. We think the company is worth at least $50 billion (at 15 times earnings), thus there is a $25 billion of margin of safety. If the lawsuit costs the company less than $25 billion, McKesson will be a profitable investment; if not, then the market is right and we are wrong.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements.

Book Marcinko: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-bookings/

Subscribe: MEDICAL EXECUTIVE POST for curated news, essays, opinions and analysis from the public health, economics, finance, marketing, IT, business and policy management ecosystem.

DOCTORS:

“Insurance & Risk Management Strategies for Doctors” https://tinyurl.com/ydx9kd93

“Fiduciary Financial Planning for Physicians” https://tinyurl.com/y7f5pnox

“Business of Medical Practice 2.0” https://tinyurl.com/yb3x6wr8

HOSPITALS:

“Financial Management Strategies for Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/yagu567d

“Operational Strategies for Clinics and Hospitals” https://tinyurl.com/y9avbrq5

***

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

***

The Opioid Crisis: Treating Addiction and Saving Lives

An Audio Webinar

By NIHCM

Transforming Health Care Through Evidence and Collaboration

An estimated 2.1 million Americans have an opioid use disorder, according to the latest national data. Opioid overdose takes the lives of 4.6 Americans every hour. With a crisis of this magnitude, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that effective, life-saving treatments are out there. Medication-assisted therapy and the opioid-reversing drug naloxone, for example, are two highly effective interventions for addiction and overdose, but access barriers persist.

In this part of our opioid webinar series, we explored ways to expand the use of evidence-based treatment, including:

  • Strategies to smooth access to key drug therapies through standing orders to dispense and removal of prior authorization requirements
  • Federal and private-sector initiatives to protect the patients from sub-standard or fraudulent addiction treatment
  • A multi-sector collaboration to adopt principles of care for substance abuse treatment and to help practitioners stay abreast of the evidence
  • Ideas for using pharmacy data to identify potential abuse and for deploying telehealth technology to improve access to treatment

***

%d bloggers like this: