Co-Founder and Managing Partner Harry Nelson‘s recently published article on Forbes sheds light on the politics surrounding the Opioid Crisis. The article discusses the surprising backlash from individuals concerning the issues posed by the United States of Opioids.
Opioid Crisis Politics
Harry describes the messages he receives via social media and how they all seemed to echo similar stories…
• I used opioids prescribed by my doctor responsibly for serious pain that I live with.
• The opioid crisis is about abusers: irresponsible people who took too much and got addicted and/or people using opioids illegally without prescriptions.
• Now my doctors won’t prescribe opioids or pharmacies won’t dispense them because of the abusers—and you are making it worse by conflating responsible users and abusers, stirring the pot, and calling unnecessary attention to the “crisis.”
The trickiest part of tackling the opioid crisis is the millions of Americans currently living in chronic pain who depend on opioids to allow them to have control of their lives. The lack of research on solutions to end the cycle of opioid addiction plays a big part as well. Harry highlights some key points to be focusing on in terms of answers to the problem of the Opioid Crisis.
• Developing condition-specific protocols for the use of opioid medications to create clear standards for doctors to prescribe to people in pain without fear of disciplinary or criminal charges.
• Demanding access and reimbursement parity
• Increasing research on pain therapeutics