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Jim Greenwood on BIO’s Long-Term Opioid Strategy

August 30, 2018
The numbers are staggering. The opioid epidemic is costing our nation more than $500 billion annually in health and social costs. What’s more, 1 in 5 deaths among young adults in 2016 were opioid related. This crisis is plaguing communities across the country, leaving in its wake countless victims, devastated families and economic ruin.

Jim Greenwood, BIO’s President and CEO, recently did a series of interviews where he described how biomedical innovation and the development of novel and safer, next generation therapies can help treat both pain and addiction.

Why innovation is the long-term solution to this crisis
GREENWOOD: “I think in the long-run, innovation is really the only way out. … We have to develop new pain-relievers that are not addictive, and the good news is that the science allows us to do that.” The Lars Larson Show

How innovative products are already making a difference
GREENWOOD: “You have new drugs like Vivitrol which is an injection that a patient takes once a month that blocks [the] opioid receptors … that’s the kind of innovation we need.” Jimmy Lakey Show

Why it’s important for insurers and other payers to do their part
GREENWOOD: We [must] make sure that, for instance, the Medicare and Medicaid programs are willing to pay because some of these new miracle pain drugs that are non-opioid are going to be expensive … but you can’t have a system that says “just take the generic oxycodone.” If that’s the attitude of the payers … then the investors will say “I’m going to put my money somewhere else.” The Bill Meyer Show

For more information about the biopharmaceutical industry’s commitment to combating the opioid crisis, please visit