There’s Little Evidence Abuse-Deterrent Opioids Work


From STAT: In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has proposed using abuse-deterrent opioids – those that make it more difficult to crush, snort, or inject the underlying opioid – as a way to address the opioid epidemic. However, there is almost no real-world evidence that abuse-deterrent opioids actually decrease opioid misuse; mandating coverage of these medications could be a tremendous waste of resources.

“Even if the evidence isn’t compelling that these products result in lower rates of opioid abuse, why not support them on the possibility that they might help, even if just a little? For the precise reason that the pharmaceutical industry is so interested in mandating the use of these products: They are far more expensive than generic opioids.

We compared the best retail price for three approved abuse-deterrent morphine products — Embeda, MorphaBond, and Arymo ER — against the price of generic extended-release morphine, using the same dose (30 milligrams) and supply (60 pills) for each. The best retail price for the generic morphine is $43.82 for a month’s supply, while the best prices for the other three products range from $567.78 to $1,013.03 for a comparable supply.”

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