Purdue Pharma L.P. to Present Data from Research Studies at PAINWeek® 2017 Annual Conference

Impact Analysis of Drug Take-Back Program in North Carolina and Review of Unintentional Opioid-Related Deaths in the Oklahoma Medicaid Population

STAMFORD, Conn. and RALEIGH, NC September 6, 2017Purdue Pharma L.P. will present results from 2 separate, health outcomes research studies during the 11th Annual PAINWeek® Conference, taking place September 5-9, 2017 in Las Vegas.

The posters will be available for viewing beginning Wednesday, September 6 at 3:30 p.m. PDT. Authors will be available at the PAINWeek Poster Session and Reception on Thursday, September 7 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. PDT.

Poster #106
Title: The Positive Impact of a North Carolina State-Wide Medicine Disposal Initiative on the DEA National Take-Back Day Program
Authors: Thomas Alfieri, Ph.D., Fred Wells Brason II, Tracy Mayne, Ph.D.

Purdue Pharma collaborated with Project Lazarus, a non-profit organization established to decrease opioid-related overdose deaths and promote appropriate care for pain patients, to create the North Carolina Disposal Initiative (NCDI). Drug take-back programs are designed to provide safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, to decrease accidental ingestion, abuse, and diversion. The goals of the NCDI are to help community-based organizations conduct drug take-back programs, increase utilization of medicine drop boxes across North Carolina, assess the effectiveness of such initiatives to remove prescription medicine from circulation, and gauge their impact on public health outcomes such as opioid overdose deaths, hospitalizations, and calls to poison control centers.

In the spring of 2017, NCDI supported 60 medicine take-back events run by local organizations, helped promote those events, and systematically measured the amount and type of drugs collected. These events were further supported by Purdue Pharma representatives, who provided more than 60,000 tear sheets for healthcare providers and pharmacy professionals to distribute to patients, which specified the dates and times for the events and the locations of drop boxes. 

The study examined data published by the DEA that recorded the total weight of the collections in pounds and the number of participating take-back sites for each state during National Drug Take-Back Day. Study authors compared data from April 30, 2016 to April 29, 2017 in order to examine year-over-year changes in North Carolina compared to other states.

Study results:

  • From 2016 to 2017, North Carolina increased the total weight of collections from 15,449 pounds to 26,420 pounds, an increase of 10,971 pounds (71%).
  • North Carolina’s increase from 2016 to 2017 was higher than all surrounding states, including: Virginia (-13%), West Virginia (-32%), South Carolina (11%), Georgia (9%), Kentucky (17%), and Tennessee (16%).

“This program is an example of how centralized interventions involving government health departments, community-based coalitions, and industry have the potential to reduce the amount of medication in circulation,” said Fred Wells Brason II, President and Chief Executive Officer, Project Lazarus. “The DEA nationwide numbers also show North Carolina collected an average of 440 pounds of medicines per site in April 2017, which was second-highest rate across the US. Additional research and analyses to quantify the proportion of opioids collected and to assess the impact of disposal initiatives on public health outcomes are ongoing.”

Poster #108
Title: Unintentional Prescription Opioid Deaths in the Oklahoma Medicaid Population, 2012-2016.
Authors: Timothy T. Pham, Ph.D., Grant H. Skrepnek, Ph.D., Christopher Bond, Ph.D., Thomas Alfieri, Ph.D., Terry J. Cothran, D.Ph., Shellie L. Keast, Ph.D.

Reports suggest that the Medicaid population is uniquely vulnerable to opioid overdose; however, little is known about patterns of pharmacy and medical utilization prior to death in this population. This study was designed to describe demographic and clinical characteristics in the year prior to overdose for Oklahoma’s Medicaid members who died of unintentional opioid prescription drug poisoning from 2012 to 2016. An additional objective was to identify risk factors associated with fatal, unintentional prescription opioid overdose for this population.

Researchers linked Oklahoma Medicaid’s pharmacy and claims data with medical examiner (ME) data for unintentional prescription overdose deaths and compared cases (individuals who were Medicaid-eligible during the year of death and had at least one prescription opioid claim between January 2012 and June 2016) with controls (other Medicaid members with at least one opioid prescription claim). Controls were matched 3:1 to cases with opioid exposure using a propensity score model.

Study results:

  • Nearly half of Oklahoma Medicaid members who had a fatal, unintentional prescription opioid overdose did not have an opioid prescription claim.
  • Similar to controls, cases averaged 44.5 (±11.2) years of age, 64.2% were female, and 80.7% self-identified as white.
  • The most common opioids involved in fatalities were oxycodone (36.5%), hydrocodone (35.5%), morphine (16.5%), methadone (12.5%), and fentanyl (11.2%).
  • Concomitant exposure to opioids and benzodiazepines was prevalent in 70.4% of cases compared to 35.9% of controls (p<0.05).
  • Mental health disorders were also more common among cases: 83.2% versus 54.5% among controls (p<0.05).
  • The most common chronic pain types were neck/joint pain (26.4% controls; 32.4% cases; p<0.05) and low back pain (26.6% controls; 43.6% cases; p<0.05).

“Studies like these help to deepen our understanding of affected and at-risk populations, factors that may contribute to abuse, misuse, and addiction, as well as the circumstances through which individuals are securing medicines for illicit use. These insights are critically important in furthering our efforts to design effective prevention and intervention strategies,” said Monica Kwarcinski, PharmD, Head of Medical Affairs, Purdue Pharma. “We are committed to advancing our work with researchers and community partners to address this significant public health epidemic while continuing to ensure that appropriate patients have access to FDA-approved medications.”

Project Lazarus is a non-profit organization established in 2007 in Wilkes County, NC with the goal to decrease opioid-related overdose deaths, promote and present appropriate care for pain patients, promote substance use treatment and support services, and enhance engagement within the community. In response to extremely high overdose mortality rates in Wilkes County, Project Lazarus created a public health model, now known as the Project Lazarus Model, to achieve these goals. To learn more about education, training and technical assistance the organization provides, please visit www.projectlazarus.org.

About Purdue Pharma L.P.
Purdue Pharma L.P. is a privately-held pharmaceutical company headquartered in Stamford, Conn. Purdue Pharma is part of a network of independent associated companies dedicated to providing patients and providers with innovative medicines. The company’s leadership and employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers quality products and educational resources that make a positive impact on healthcare — and on lives. For more information, please visit www.purduepharma.com.

Media Inquiries:
Danielle Lewis
Corporate Communications
Purdue Pharma L.P.
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