19th May 2017

Fourteen things Trump needs to know about opioids

As President Trump promises to fight the opioid epidemic, here are 14 things experts want him to know

Greg Sullivan, MD, Chief Scientific Officer & CEO of Bridge Therapeutics, recently spoke with Managed Healthcare Executive for a special report entitled, “Fourteen things Trump needs to know about opioids.” Managed Healthcare Executive is read by 40,000 C-suite executives across the country at health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

Dr. Sullivan discussed with Managed Healthcare Executive managing editor Tracey Walker how the lack of non-addictive medications for long-term pain has left the 25 million chronic pain patients with no safe options to treat their condition, which means many of them are addicted to dangerous forms of opioids. “The tolerance that develops from traditional opioids reduces the analgesic effects of the medication, causing the patient to require a higher dose to achieve the same level of pain relief,” Dr. Sullivan said. “Compared with traditional full agonist opioids, buprenorphine affects the receptors in the brain responsible for euphoria to a lesser degree, decreasing the potential for addiction.”

He added: “Of all the opioids that have been approved for chronic pain, only buprenorphine has been demonstrated to be safe for long-term use, while not causing tolerance. It’s important to note that buprenorphine is effective in treating certain types of pain, but not inflammatory pain—it must be used in conjunction with an NSAID to effectively treat chronic pain.”

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