WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 17, 2013) Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Senior Vice President of Communications Matthew Bennett made the following statement today:
"Today's New York Times story brings attention to some of the challenges related to ensuring appropriate use of prescription medicines and preventing diversion, misuse, and abuse. The medications discussed have played a key role in helping people stop using heroin and abusing other opioid drugs as well as provide an important treatment option for pain. When used appropriately and under the direction and care of a licensed health care professional, prescription medicines can improve and save lives. However, prescription medicines can cause negative health consequences if they are used inappropriately and not as intended. America's innovative biopharmaceutical companies continue to work to develop new treatment options for patients, including abuse-deterrent formulations and support ongoing education of prescribers and patients on the appropriate use of medicines as well as support the use of tools such as Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs to combat doctor shopping.
The article criticizes biopharmaceutical companies for communicating with prescribers about treatment options, yet educating patients regarding appropriate use and storage of their medicines to avoid potential diversion or accidental ingestion by children and routine monitoring of patients is critical to the safe use of these medicines.
In order to address this important public health issue, continued efforts must be aimed at minimizing the potential for diversion, misuse, and abuse of prescription medications but these efforts must be balanced with the need to provide needed treatment options for addiction and for those with legitimate medical needs."