Opioid Epidemic: How PBMs Can Help Find Solutions

09.26.17

In the last two decades, prescribing rates for opioids have increased nearly three-fold, from 76 million prescriptions in 1991 to approximately 207 million prescriptions in 2013.1 Sadly, this much more frequent prescribing of addictive medications is connected to an epidemic of deaths related to abuse of opiates and other drugs of abuse. Drug overdose deaths are now considered a national emergency, topping 59,000 in 2016.2 

A September 2017 Health Affairs blog post authored by CVS Health’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troy Brennan, Jennifer Polinski, Sr. Director, Evaluation and Public Health Analytics, CVS Health, and Dr. Richard Creager examines the harrowing increase in mortality attributed to opioid abuse, and discusses the role pharmacy benefits managers, employers and insurers can play in finding solutions.

Read Pharmacy Benefit Management of Opioid Prescribing: The Role of Employers and Insurers.

1  https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse

2  http://www.painpolicy.wisc.edu/global

Naloxone availability across the United States

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CVS Pharmacy patients in 46 states now have access to the opioid overdose-reversal drug, naloxone.

Follow our commitment to drug abuse prevention as we increase access to the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug.