The National Opioid Epidemic: The Emergence of a Multi-Layered Approach

By: Jacqueline C. Wolff | Richard S. Hartunian
– Business Crime Bulletin

On Oct. 26, 2017, Eric D. Hargan, acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced that, as a result of the opioid epidemic, “a public health emergency exists nationwide.” According to the CDC, from 1999 to 2016, more than 200,000 people died in the United States from overdoses related to prescription opioids. Between 2011 and 2016, “spending on Medicaid-covered prescriptions used to treat opioid addiction and overdoses increased from $394 million to $930 million, an average annual increase of 19[%]. Spending grew faster in later years, with a 30[%] increase between 2015 and 2016.” As a result, counties, states and the federal government have mounted an attack on the pharmaceutical industry.

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