Viewpoint: Pharma should fund opioid takeback efforts

While a majority of the 200 million opioid prescriptions dispensed annually in the U.S. go unused by patients, drug takeback efforts are limited in their ability to get unused opioids out of medicine cabinets to reduce the risk of diversion and misuse, according to a recent viewpoint article published in The Washington Post

In the article, Keith Humphreys, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford (Calif.) University, argued drug takeback efforts are underutilized due to financial constraints, citing an October report from the Government Accountability Office that found just 2.5 percent of eligible organizations participate in unused prescription drug collection efforts. Dr. Humphreys said conducting such initiatives costs money and most "public and private sector organizations have not been willing to absorb the costs of operating prescription drop-off sites."

"Given opioid manufacturers' billions of dollars in revenue and the fact that at least some of them played a significant part in starting the opioid epidemic, they seem an obvious deep pocket to tap for supporting return of excess opioids," Dr. Humphreys wrote. "Mandating opioid manufacturers pay a few bucks per returned bottle of pills to the patient and to the drop-off location operator may be what is needed to make returning leftover medication as automatic and prevalent as recycling cans and bottles."

To read the complete viewpoint article, click here.

More articles on opioids: 
Montana files opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma 
Inpatient mortality for opioid-related hospitalizations sees fourfold increase since 90s 
Nearly half of opioid pills prescribed go unused after hysterectomies

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