The Opioid Abuse Epidemic
Pain medications are essential for improving the care and outcomes for the 100 million adults living with chronic pain in the United States. It is estimated that the cost of medical treatment and lost productivity associated with chronic pain is $560-$635 billion annually.
However, the abuse and misuse of prescription opioid drugs has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. Despite efforts to develop opioid drug formulations that are resistant to tampering, abusers have matched the advances in pill/tablet formulation technology with new ways to abuse these drugs. Most opioid drugs currently on the market can be physically manipulated (crushed, cut, grated, ground, heated, dissolved) to yield active opioid that can be injected, snorted, smoked, or taken orally.
Increased sales of prescription opioid drugs over the past decade have been matched by a parallel increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths. Deaths related to prescription opioid drugs have increased annually to more than 16,000 in 2010 alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers the prescription drug abuse crisis in the United States to be an epidemic and the Office of National Drug Control Policy describes it as “the Nation’s fastest-growing drug problem.” In addition to causing health issues, abuse of prescription opioid drugs is associated with high economic costs in both direct health care. and economic impact on the workplace averaging over $72.5 billion annually.
Ensysce has seized on this problem and has developed it highly novel BIO-MD™and MPAR™ pain products. The BIO-MD™, abuse-resistant opioid prodrug technology has the potential to meet the medical needs of patients living with chronic pain, while providing a solution to the national epidemic of prescription opioid abuse.