The Healthcare Leadership Council, comprised of experts from health insurance, pharmacy chain and health information technology companies, held a Capitol Hill briefing about the crisis of opioid addiction and potential solutions.
The briefing was held on April 13. It outlined how health leaders can take current as well as future action to resolve the increasing problem of opioid addiction in the U.S.
“We must confront the problem of addiction, but without making life even more difficult for people already facing severe health challenges,” HLC President Mary Grealy said.
Unfortunately, this is a problem that creates multiple variables. One of the most drastic results is a rise in overdose-related deaths, while one out of every three U.S. citizens has a certain degree of chronic pain that needs relief.
One potential solution is e-prescriptions, as these significantly decrease the chances people have to abuse drugs. Another solution would involve data analytics about drug abuse, as health care costs for drug abuse amount to billions of dollars.
In addition, some health professionals call for states to erase all barriers to safely disposing of drugs, as patients could then gain access to naloxone to block the effect of opioids. Until then, real-time health data are important for stopping access to illegitimate sources for drugs.