Insurers, PBMs To Be Enlisted in Fight Against Opioid Addiction

FDA chief plans to meet with leaders of those industries

FDA chief Scott Gottlieb hopes to be able to stem the flood of opioids fueling the worst drug crisis in U.S. history by blocking them at their source: health plans and PBMs. Bloomberg News reports that Gottlieb wants to meet with leaders of those industries in September to discuss ways of better regulating opioid prescriptions.

“The way to reduce the rate of new addiction is to reduce the rate of exposure, and the way to reduce the rate of exposure is to make sure people are receiving prescriptions when it’s only medically appropriate,” Gottlieb tells Bloomberg.

Gottlieb will need to use his powers of persuasion on insurers, who are not regulated by the FDA but rather by HHS and state insurance commissions. Gottlieb tells Bloomberg: “I’m looking at different models that could potentially be less burdensome but be more effective at achieving the goal of making sure that prescribing conforms more closely with clinical guidelines. They’re not in there right now. There’s no information in the drug label about what the appropriate dispensing should be.”

Source: Bloomberg News