We now have more evidence that drug companies have helped cause the opioid epidemic in America, which was associated with 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, with a new study linking the commercialization of opioid analgesics Drug companies have spent billions of dollars for years selling their products to doctors, doctors, and other prescription doctors with voice, free dinners, paid travel, and more. When pharmaceutical companies launched their new opioid pills, such as OxyContin, from the 1990s, they used many of these tactics to convince doctors, as opposed to proving that the drugs were safe and effective, and convinced them to use far more medicine
The new study JAMA Network Open investigated the potential link between the commercialization of opioids to physicians in the US and deaths from overdose of opioid analgesics at the county level. The researchers found that where there was more marketing, more deaths occurred.
The study by Boston University researchers, UC Davis, New York University, and Brown University examined more than 430,000 marketing payments totaling $ 39.7 million. The number of physicians increased between August 201
Exactly what the researchers found: The Kreise, which found more marketing in the past year, experienced more painkiller prescriptions and more deaths from overdose.
"[T] The United States continues to surpass the rest of the developed world in terms of opioid prescriptions and many individuals With opioid use, disorders are first introduced by a prescription into opioids," the researcher wrote. "Our findings suggest that opioid marketing directly from the physician can counteract current national efforts to reduce the number of prescribed opioids and that policy makers are limiting these activities as part of a robust, evidence-based response to the epidemic of opioid overdose could consider United States.
The cost of marketing did not seem to have as much impact as the number of marketing interactions. This suggests that there are fewer financial implications than the contact between marketer and doctor has a significant impact on the practices of prescribing physicians. For states (like New Jersey) who want to restrict opioid marketing, understanding that dynamic is the key to implementing the most effective policies.
"Given the evidence that food-sponsored meals are contributing to increased prescribing, the data suggest the greatest impact. Pharmaceutical companies may be subtle and widespread, resulting in very low-value, very large payments The study warned that the study had some major reservations: firstly, the researchers did not rule out the reverse cause, for example, marketers could go to doctors who had already prescribed more opioids because the Marketers saw these doctors as reliable targets, in which case marketing could not lead to more prescriptions and deaths from overdoses, but more prescriptions could lead to more marketing.
Another drawback: Opioid painkillers are not the only driver of overdose deaths in the US – especially unlike il Legal opioids, such as illegal fentanyl and heroin, have declined – despite the fact that, according to the study, they are still involved in 40% of deaths from opioid overdoses. Whether and how more opioid prescriptions can lead to other types of opioid overdoses needs further investigation, the researchers warned.
The study also failed to distinguish between deaths caused by opioid analgesics prescribed to the victim unlawfully by, for example, a family member or the black market.
Along with a study published in the last year JAMA Internal Medicine the findings are revealing-one of which has been reported by drug companies to have contributed to the deadliest drug-related disease in US history.
There are other indications that opioid marketing has contributed to the overdose crisis
The opioid epidemic can be understood in three waves. In the first wave, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, doctors prescribed many opioid analgesics. As a result, the drugs developed into widespread abuse and addiction – not only to patients, but also to friends and family, to adolescents who had taken the medicines out of their parents' medicine cabinets, and to people who had surplus on the black market Pills bought.
A second wave of drug overdoses began in the 2000s when heroin flooded the illegal market. Drug traders and traders used a new population of people who used opioids but either lost access to painkillers or simply sought a better, more affordable high. And in recent years, the US has experienced a third wave as fentanyl is an even more effective, cheaper and deadlier alternative to heroin.
However, it is the first wave that really triggered the opioid crisis – and that's where the marketing of opioid painkillers is probably the most relevant. (However, the study could only look at the most recent data, as there are no similar statistics for the past few years, so we do not know if things are getting worse or better in marketing.)
About the past In a few years, we'll have more and received more reports on opioid companies aggressively marketing their products, even as it became clear that the drugs were not the safe and effective alternative to other painkillers on the market that they claimed were opioids.  Recently, a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts by Maura Healey before the trial of Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, by Richard Sackler, then president of Purdue and part of the Sackler family owned by Purdue, personally involved in some of these efforts. The application claims that Sackler marketed OxyContin as a "non-narcotic" in other countries, even though it is an opioid. Robert Kaiko, who created OxyContin, had to dissuade him from the idea.
The company allegedly overlooked the excessive prescription in the US, although some Purdue employees had warned about pills that should have been reported to federal officials, Maia Szalavitz reported for Tonic with biased and inaccurate characterizations of these documents and individual defendants, highlight the often possible options for action that were ultimately rejected by the company.
However, other reports suggest that opioid companies were largely irresponsible. As a group of public health experts explained in the Annual Report of Public Health opioid companies outperformed the benefits and safety of their products, supported advocacy groups and "education campaigns" that favored widespread use of opioids, and Lobbyists Legislators to ease access to the drugs. Purdue played a major role in the effort as the maker of the then-new OxyContin, as well as companies such as Endo, Teva and Abbott Laboratories.
The result: The sale of opioids also increased addiction and overdoses.
The drugs were not only fatal; They were not as effective as Purdue and others claimed. There is very little scientific evidence that opioid analgesics can effectively treat long-term chronic pain when patients become opaque with the opioid effects. However, there is much evidence that prolonged use can lead to very serious complications, including an increased risk of addiction or overdose. and death. In short, the risks and disadvantages outweigh the benefits for most pain patients.
In some cases, drug manufacturers have had consequences for their erroneous claims. In 2007, Purdue Pharma and three of its top executives paid over $ 630 million in fines for their misleading marketing. The three executives were also convicted, each sentenced to three years' probation and 400 hours of civilian service.
And last year, Purdue announced that the opioids should no longer be sold to doctors.
] But Purdue and others may soon face greater consequences. A judge in Cleveland has consolidated lawsuits against opioid companies to reach a major settlement agreement. The hope is that an agreement would not only curtail the commercialization of opioid companies, but would also lead to a financial settlement that would pay for addiction treatment in the US Steps, especially marketing restrictions, could help address the current opioid crisis to reverse – and possibly prevent future crises.
For more information on how to combat the American Opioid Painkiller, see the Vox Statement.
Subscribe to the Future Perfect Newsletter Twice a week, you will receive a summary of ideas and solutions to tackle our key challenges: improving public health, reducing human and animal suffering, reducing catastrophic risks and – to put it simply – to do good