Painkiller drug sales seen dropping by 2020

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

London, England, United Kingdom (4E) – Prescription drug sales are forecast to exceed $1 trillion by 2020, according to a new report of EvaluatePharma, an analyst of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The 7th edition of the World Preview report said biologic products like Sovaldi, Xarelto, Nivolumab and Tecfidera are to be the top sellers by 2020. The report also predicted that Novartis will remain the sales leader in branded drugs while Teva Pharmacuetical will remain the top seller of generic drugs.

The report further said that the painkiller Oxycontin will no longer be in the top 50 selling products in the world six years from now, unlike last year.

OxyContin is an extended-release and long-acting opioid and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes it in a list of extensively misprescribed, misused, and abused painkillers—along with Avinza, Dolophine, Duragesic–that lead to overdoses, addiction, and deaths across the United States.

The latest Consumer Reports finds that the use of prescription painkillers continues to rise with prescription for opioids increasing by 300 percent in the last decade. The report also found that deaths from overdose are up 400 percent since 1999.

An average of 46 people die from overdose of medications such OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin each day or 17,00 each year, Consumer Reports said. The drugs used to manage pain for acute injury, surgery and cancer are as addictive as heroin.

According to the 2013 report titled Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic done by Trust for America’s Health, prescription drug abuse has quickly become a top public health concern, as the number of drug overdose deaths–a majority of which are from prescription drugs–doubled in 29 states since 1999.

Prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington, D.C., the report said. Misuse and abuse of prescription drugs costs the country an estimated $53.4 billion a year in lost productivity, medical costs and criminal justice costs, and currently only one in 10 Americans with a substance abuse disorder receives treatment, the report further said

The FDA is controlling painkiller abuse by requiring makers of such drugs to provide risk reduction strategies, including educating doctors about proper pain management, patient selection, and other requirements and improving patient awareness about how to use painkillers safely. The FDA also requires pharmaceutical companies to give patients education materials, including a medication guide that uses consumer friendly language to explain safe use and disposal of drugs.

For those who are already addicted to painkillers, breaking free can also be done through medications and counseling. Buprenorphine and naltrexone and traditional therapies like methadone are already helping thousands of people stay on the road to recovery.

For example, the Start Fresh Program of BioCorRx Inc. (OTCQB: BICX) uses FDA-approved naltrexone implant for the medication part and life coaching for the non-medical therapy.

In the program, used by addiction rehabilitation clinics under license from BioCorRx, involves the Naltrexone implant releases the medication over several months to curb a patient’s craving for alcohol. And while the patient is sober, he undergoes a series of life coaching sessions to resume a normal life free from abuse.

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