Our Strong Track Record of Helping to Address the Opioid Crisis
The nation’s opioid crisis is a significant and urgent public health challenge, and Purdue Pharma is deeply concerned about the toll it is having on communities. Here are some of the steps we have taken to address the crisis:
We participate in public-private partnerships to advance collaborative solutions, including:
- The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) public-private working groups to help end the opioid crisis including Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL), an initiative focused on accelerating the development of treatments for opioid use disorder and non-opioid, non-addictive pain medications.
- The Prescription Drug Safety Network (the “Network”) created by EVERFI, a leading prevention education innovator. Through this public-private coalition, Purdue underwrites efforts to bring prevention education regarding prescription drug misuse and abuse to high school students across the country. In August 2018, we reported results from the Network’s inaugural year which included a national 49% knowledge gain across six different learning modules. We’ve expanded our initial support to include a statewide education program in Connecticut and a collaboration with the Connecticut Prevention Network.
- The Governor’s Prevention Partnership of Connecticut, a public-private organization focusing on education about youth issues, including substance abuse, to sponsor educational initiatives including public service announcements (PSAs).
REDUCING DIVERSION OF PRESCRIPTION OPIOID MEDICATIONS
We advocate and support efforts to reduce prescription drug diversion such as the use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) by healthcare professionals, safe storage and disposal initiatives, and supporting pharmacists to address safety and security.
- Providing $3.1 million toward a public-private partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia to integrate PDMP data and analysis into the electronic health record workflow of 18,000 doctors and nurses and 300 pharmacies. Data from an observational study presented in September 2018 at the PAINWeek® Annual Conference found a 91% increase in the average monthly number of unique individuals interacting with the Virginia PDMP (from 7,959 to 15,175 within one year).
- We provided $1 million in funding to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to enable states to connect at no cost to the NABP’s PMPInterConnect® platform and share prescription drug monitoring data with each other. It is now used by more than 40 states.
- We partnered with Safe Kids North Carolina, Project Lazarus, and others to support state-wide medicine disposal activities and conduct systematic research to evaluate the impact of community-based prevention programs on opioid-related overdoses, abuse, and diversion.
- We created RxPATROL® (Pattern Analysis Tracking Robberies and Other Losses), the first national database to track, analyze, and provide information on pharmacy theft and loss to law enforcement and the retail pharmacy network. First developed in 2003, today RxPATROL® has more than 13,600 registered users and helps law enforcement solve pharmacy crimes and educate retail pharmacy leaders on how they can protect themselves, their businesses, and their customers.
We’ve provided funding to improve access to opioid overdose reversal agents, including:
- A $3.41 million grant to Harm Reduction Therapeutics, Inc. to support its effort to advance the development of a low-cost, over-the-counter (OTC) naloxone nasal spray in the US. The grant, provided in September 2018, will help accelerate development by approximately 12 months. We’ve committed that Purdue will not see any revenue from this product.
- Nearly $1 million in funding to the National Sheriffs’ Association’s (NSA) Saving Lives program over the past two years. To date, more than 1,000 law enforcement officers and command staff have been trained to administer naloxone, and naloxone overdose kits with over 10,000 doses were distributed to 100 law enforcement agencies in 22 states. The NSA estimates 275 lives have been saved since the program began in November 2015.
CONDUCTING AND SUPPORTING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
For many years, we have worked collaboratively with academia and industry to advance the science of pain treatment.
- We pioneered the research and development of opioids with abuse-deterrent properties (ADP) designed to make them more difficult to abuse through certain routes.*
- For more than two decades, Purdue has conducted non-opioid pain research. The data and conclusions from this research have been shared with the academic scientific community through peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and posters. Additional unpublished data were summarized and shared with the NIH as part of Project HEAL.
- As part of our collaborative research program, we support a research fellowship at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. Through this program, the fellow works with academic advisors to conduct research in epidemiology to evaluate factors influencing unintentional prescription opioid deaths and diagnosed opioid use disorder in a state Medicaid program.
- As part of our commitment to research non-opioid pain treatments and addiction, we have supported a scholarship for three graduate students per year, over the past three years, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. We also donated an estimated $1 million in lab equipment and consumables to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in July 2017.
- In 2017, we joined in a clinical study with Geisinger to assess the effect of wearable health technology on patient health outcomes. An interim analysis from this observational work was presented in September 2018 at the PAINWeek® Annual Conference.
- In 2017, we donated a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer to the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The instrument, valued at approximately $500,000, is used by chemists to identify and characterize new molecules with the potential to become new therapies. The instrument was installed in a facility that is dedicated to facilitating cross-departmental collaborative research including pain, addiction, and other fields.
*All opioids, including those with ADP, expose users to the risks of addiction, abuse, and misuse. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) supports the development of opioids with abuse-deterrent properties as one potentially important step in helping to deter prescription opioid abuse and misuse. Opioids with ADP won’t stop all prescription opioid abuse, but they are one part of a comprehensive multi-stakeholder approach needed to address this complex public health issue.