The devastating societal effects of the national opioid crisis are as far reaching as they are complex and require multimodal and highly coordinated interventions involving policy makers, public health, law enforcement, the medical community, payers, and community stakeholders.
In the face of this crisis, policy makers and health care providers have responded vigorously with numerous recommendations and proposed reforms to reduce the risk of harm. While we applaud the recognition of the problem and the effort to solve it, it is imperative that recommendations, and particularly mandates, are evidence-based and are not so costly that they jeopardize alternative, proven strategies.
One approach that is gaining energy both at state and national levels would be to require payers to cover abuse-deterrent opioids. Abuse-deterrent formulations are developed with the goal of meaningfully deterring certain types of abuse or making abuse more difficult or less rewarding. The science of abuse deterrence is......