The prescription painkiller epidemic is rising and gaining increasing attention across our regulatory agencies. The heightened impact on women has been noted, but rarely at the level of the effort now underway at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC notes that "(s)ince 1999, the percentage increase in deaths was more than 400 percent among women compared to 265 percent in men."
In its first focused public discussion on the impact of addiction to narcotic painkillers on women in the United States, CDC Director Tom Frieden will hold telebriefing on the latest data on this under-recognized and growing problem and what can be done to stop this epidemic.
Former Congresswoman Mary Bono, Senior Vice President at FaegreBD Consulting, is recognized in Congress and across the community for her leadership in addressing the crisis of prescription drug addiction. While in Congress, Bono stepped up to the forefront of the nationwide fight against prescription drug abuse as co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse. Now working with the health and biosciences team under Debra Lappin at FaegreBD Consulting, Bono is providing counsel to providers and health systems on policy and reimbursement strategies to strengthen the nation's network of care delivery to stem this epidemic and provide life-sparing care to those affected. Direction is especially important in light of health care reform provisions that mandate health insurance plans to cover a minimum standard of benefits, including mental health and substance use disorder services beginning in 2014 for health plans sold in the state-based exchanges, individual plans, small-group plans and Medicaid for the expansion population
We will be monitoring the CDC's welcomed entry into addressing this national concern and will be pleased to provide further information upon request.