Statement of Elaine Pozycki, Founder of Prevent Opioid Abuse in Response to Purdue Pharma Guilty Plea

From Business Wire:

Purdue Pharma’s agreement to plead guilty to felony charges in part for illegally incentivizing doctors to prescribe more opioid-based pain relievers to patients, even-though the company knew full well how highly addictive these medicines are, underscores the importance of warning patients of the risks of addiction and discussing non-opioid pain relief alternatives. Patients who are being prescribed these medications have the right to be informed, by the prescriber, of the addictive qualities of these drugs as well as any non-opioid alternatives that are available.”

Eighteen states now have passed the Patient Opioid Notification Act, requiring this potentially life-saving conversation between doctor and patient. In a nation where more than 150 million opioid-painkiller prescriptions are written each year, and there are 50,000 annual opioid deaths, it is long past time for this to be the requirement in every state in the nation.”

About Prevent Opioid Abuse

Prevent Opioid Abuse is a national organization working to educate patients and parents about the risks of opioid-based painkillers and the availability of non-opioid alternatives. For additional information, visit https://preventopioidabuse.org/


Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Opioid Sales

From the New York Times:

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges related to its marketing of the addictive painkiller, and faces penalties of roughly $8.3 billion, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday. The settlement could pave the way for a resolution of thousands of lawsuits brought against the company for its role in a public health crisis that has killed more than 450,000 Americans since 1999.

Read complete article here.


Melissa Etheridge talks son’s OD death and what she’s doing to honor him

““Etheridge shared that Beckett, who is one of two children Etheridge had with former partner Julie Cypher, was first introduced to painkillers after he broke his ankle during a snowboarding incident. That led to a downward spiral.“

Read complete article here.


Preventing the opioid epidemic from getting worse requires attacking it at the source

From TheHill.com:

Experts are predicting, and we are beginning to see, a significant uptick in opioid use disorder and overdoses as a result of the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. We know that stress and isolation are significant contributors to the onset of opioid use disorder, and we also know that the reduced access to substance use disorder and mental health treatment spurred by the pandemic will make this crisis worse.

Read complete article here.


‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic

Suspected overdoses nationally jumped 18 percent in March, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May, data from ambulance teams, hospitals and police shows.

Anahi Ortiz, a medical examiner in Columbus, Ohio, and her staff recently moved into a facility three times the size of their old office. They’re already out of space.
Anahi Ortiz, a medical examiner in Columbus, Ohio, and her staff recently moved into a facility three times the size of their old office. They’re already out of space. (Ty Wright/For The Washington Post)

By William Wan and Heather Long
July 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM EDT
The bodies have been arriving at Anahi Ortiz’s office in frantic spurts — as many as nine overdose deaths in 36 hours. “We’ve literally run out of wheeled carts to put them on,” said Ortiz, a coroner in Columbus, Ohio.

Read complete article


Yahoo Finance – Brandeis University Study Shows Few Opioid Prescribers Warned Patients of Risk of Addiction Before State Requirement

From Yahoo Finance:

Founder of Prevent Opioid Abuse says findings take on a new importance as COVID-19 is predicted to up substance abuse disorder

A New Jersey law requiring conversations between prescribers and patients to discuss risks of addiction before an opioid-based pain reliever is prescribed, resulted in a more than fourfold increase in the percentage of doctors warning patients about the risks of addiction and a significant drop in patients started on opioids. The study was conducted by Dr. Andrew Kolodny, medical director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Dr. Kolodny presented the findings today at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which was held virtually, rather than at its original Nashville location.

Read complete article here.


Brandeis University Study Shows Few Opioid Prescribers Warned Patients of Risk of Addiction Before State Requirement

Founder of Prevent Opioid Abuse says findings take on a new importance as COVID-19 is predicted to up substance abuse disorder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts: 

Jennifer Latchford  

jennifer.latchford@antennagroup.com

551-579-0496

Rob Horowitz

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401-632-0686

April 15, 2020 – A New Jersey law requiring conversations between prescribers and patients to discuss risks of addiction before an opioid-based pain reliever is prescribed, resulted in a more than fourfold increase in the percentage of doctors warning patients about the risks of addiction and a significant drop in patients started on opioids. The study was conducted by Dr. Andrew Kolodny, medical director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management. Dr. Kolodny presented the findings today at the Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which was held virtually, rather than at its original Nashville location.

The Patient Opioid Notification Act requires that medical practitioners discuss the addictive potential of opioid-based painkillers with their patients – and parents of minor patients – as well as discuss, when appropriate, safer non-opioid pain relief alternatives. Versions of this legislation have been adopted in 17 states. New Jersey was selected for the study because it was the first state to implement the law.

Representative David Trone (D-MD) will soon introduce national legislation based on these state laws that will require all patients and parents in the nation to be armed with this lifesaving information.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic delaying many elective medical and dental surgeries and procedures, we know that there will be an uptick in opioid prescribing in the future,” explained,  Elaine Pozycki, founder of Prevent Opioid Abuse. “At this critical time, it is imperative that patients be provided this information at the time their opioid is prescribed.

Major Findings

  • The number of patients prescribed opioids for acute pain decreased significantly after the law went into effect. The aspect of the law likely to have been responsible for this change was the mandatory warning about the risk of addiction. In the month after the law was implemented nearly 5000 fewer patients were started on opioids.
  • The number of clinicians who prescribed opioids for acute pain dropped by more than 1000 after the law went into effect.   
  • Nearly all prescribers (97.5%) were aware of the new opioid prescribing rules. 
  • Prior to enactment, only 18% of the participants warned patients about the risk of opioid addiction when prescribing opioids.  After enactment, 95% routinely warned patients about the risk of addiction.

What people are saying about the Study

Dr. Andrew Kolodny said, “These findings show that very few opioid prescribers were warning patients about the risk of addiction before New Jersey required them to do so.”

“Requiring prescribers to talk to their patients about the risk of addiction right before an opioid is first prescribed makes sense now more than ever, especially with the anticipated surge of addiction anticipated because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Congressman David Trone. “I will soon introduce national legislation that aligns with what we learned from this study and works to prevent the opioid crisis in this country from getting worse.”

Background:

Brandeis University researchers analyzed data from the New Jersey Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and conducted structured interviews with New Jersey clinicians.

The Patient Opioid Notification Act is now law in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maryland, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Utah, Washington, Louisiana, Missouri, and Nebraska for all patients; in California, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, it covers minors and their parents.

Prevent Opioid Abuse is a national organization working to educate patients and parents about the risks of opioid-based painkillers and the availability of non-opioid alternatives.


Opioid Addiction Is ‘A Disease Of Isolation,’ So Pandemic Puts Recovery At Risk

Before the spreading coronavirus became a pandemic, Emma went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every week in the Boston area and to another support group at her methadone clinic. She says she felt safe, secure and never judged.

Read complete article here.


Still A Crisis: How Congress Continues To Battle Opioid Addiction

From Forbes.com:

We have to keep talking about the opioid crisis. Our approach to dealing with America’s addiction is expensive, and still struggling. Yes, we have seen a reduction in opiate overdose deaths since the widespread distribution of lifesaving Narcan administered in emergencies. And yes, significant work has been accomplished on state and federal levels to provide more access to treatment, but the costs, casualties, and care are still not where we need to be. 

Read full article here.


National legislation discussed

Elaine Pozycki and the Prevent Opioid Abuse team recently met with U.S. Representative, [TAG: David Trone], to discuss national legislation regarding the Patient Notification law. Our goal is to give all patients the right to know about the potential for dependence and addiction to #opioid-based painkillers at the time of prescription.
Thank you for your time, David!