Perspectives: Drug Policies On Opioid Prescriptions Fall Short; Why Jack Up Costs Of Life-Saving Naloxone?
Opinion writers weigh in on health topics surrounding the opioid crisis.
The Washington Post:
Drug Policies Without Compassion Are Doomed To Fail
If you ask people what caused the opioid crisis ravaging our country, you’ll no doubt hear that doctors are to blame for handing out painkiller prescriptions too liberally. That narrative makes sense: Over the past few decades, doctors have massively increased the amount of opioid prescriptions going to patients. Most heroin users report that they started off abusing prescription drugs. But this gets at a basic misconception of the crisis. The epidemic is not really about prescription practices — or at least, if it was, it isn’t any longer. It’s about a lack of care for people who are dependent on the drugs. Unfortunately, policymakers are learning this the hard way. (Robert Gebelhoff, 5/16)
Profiteering From The Opioid Crisis
Almost like magic, the drug naloxone can bring victims of opioid overdoses back from the brink of death. With more than 115 people dying each day from opioid overdoses across the country, the drug could save thousands of lives each year. Except for one problem. The prices of naloxone set by drug makers have skyrocketed, putting it beyond the reach of some police, first responders, community groups, and families and friends of overdose victims. (5/16)
Naloxone Maker KalÉO: Affordable Access Is Our Company’s Priority
After watching patients in need struggle to get access to naloxone, we made a commitment, starting in 2016, to make EVZIO® available for $0 out of pocket for all patients with commercial insurance and a prescription, as well as for uninsured patients who have a household income of less than $100,000. For those who pay cash, the price is $180 per auto-injector, which comes in a box of two for $360. To be clear, no patient has to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for EVZIO. Because of our commitment, no naloxone product, branded or even generic, is less expensive out of pocket for patients than EVZIO. (Spencer Williamson, 5/16)
Lexington Herald Tribune:
Should Lexington B.U.I.L.D. A Better Needle Exchange? 'Yes,' Say 2,000 People In 26 Congregations.
Only about 11 percent of the Americans who needed specialized treatment for a substance abuse disorder in 2016 received it, which tells us that B.U.I.L.D. has again zeroed in on an urgent need: How to expand access to treatment in Lexington. Alarmed by a doubling in fatal overdoses in Lexington in three years, the coalition of 26 religious congregations is seeking an expansion of Lexington's needle-exchange program as a way to stem the spread of blood-borne diseases, steer more people into treatment and save money on health-care costs. (5/16)
Florida's Lawsuit Against Opioid Makers Is Welcome, But Not Enough
The lawsuit alleges the drug companies violated state laws by underplaying the dangers of opioids and distributing excessive quantities of the drugs. ...But Florida’s leaders would be foolish to bank on a windfall from the lawsuit, which could play out over several years. (5/16)