PhRMA Announces Commitment to Address the Opioid Crisis

Industry will provide funding for programs in partnership with Addiction Policy Forum

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has announced a multiyear, multimillion-dollar initiative to address the opioid crisis, which will include a partnership with the Addiction Policy Forum to fund state and local programs, as well as support for new public policies that help families and individuals impacted by the crisis.

In the coming months, PhRMA and the Addiction Policy Forum will work together to implement the Forum’s four-year vision plan to help solve the opioid crisis, titled “Priorities to Address Addiction in America,” released in October 2017. The plan identified eight strategic focus areas to address addiction; the recommendations included analysis of key states to identify gaps in existing programs, increased education efforts for patients and families, and the development of an online portal to connect individuals with addiction treatment options and information.

The biopharmaceutical industry’s investment will allow the Forum to implement programs nationwide, including prevention initiatives, an online addiction resource center, public–private partnerships, and new tools and protocols for health systems, among other initiatives.

In addition to announcing the partnership with the Forum, PhRMA also released an expanded set of policy proposals to aggressively tackle the many drivers of the crisis. The new platform supports policies that limit the supply of opioid medications to seven days for acute pain with clear exemptions; mandate prescriber training to ensure appropriate treatment of addiction and pain; and eliminate coverage barriers that keep patients from accessing all forms of addiction treatment, including medication-assisted treatments, and recovery support.

To accelerate the development of innovative new treatments and therapies, PhRMA recently announced that it is working to establish a public–private partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and leaders in the biopharmaceutical industry. The partnership will help bring both nonopioid, nonaddictive pain medicines and improved medication-assisted treatments for addiction to patients sooner. There are currently 40 nonopioid analgesics and 40 addiction and overdose treatments in the development pipeline.

Source: PhRMA; December 12, 2017.