Alkermes participated in the Third Meeting of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis held Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
The Commission was formed to study the scope and effectiveness of the federal response to drug addiction and the opioid crisis, and to make recommendations to the president for improving that response.
Alkermes CEO Richard Pops joined government, nonprofit, and business organizations at the meeting to testify in support of the commission’s ongoing effort to discuss innovative solutions to address the opioid crisis. The purpose of the meeting was to review education efforts, treatment options and measures to prevent diversion.
“Alkermes is honored to be included in this important national dialogue. We are encouraged by the level of engagement by senior policymakers and public health officials to evaluate the treatment status quo and consider new treatment approaches to help address the opioid epidemic,” said Pops.
“At a moment when healthcare accessibility and affordability are in the spotlight of our national dialogue, Alkermes is providing patient-centered treatment options to those afflicted by addiction and serious mental illness. We have been committed to these patients for many years, and are proud to be working with healthcare providers, public health officials and policymakers to address these devastating diseases that wreak havoc on patients, their families and in our communities.”
According to an Alkermes’s media release, opioid dependence is a chronic brain disease, and is characterized by cognitive, behavioral and physiological symptoms in which an individual continues to use opioids despite significant harm to oneself and others.
The use of heroin, an illegal opioid drug, and the non-medical use of FDA-approved opioid analgesics, including prescription pain relievers, represents a growing public health problem in the United States, the release adds.
According to the 2014 U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 2.3 million people age 18 or older were dependent on pain relievers or heroin in America.
Alkermes is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, and has an R&D center in Waltham, Massachusetts; a research and manufacturing facility in Athlone, Ireland; and a manufacturing facility in Wilmington, Ohio.
For more information, please visit Alkermes’ website at www.alkermes.com.