Major Healthcare Organizations Develop Comprehensive Roadmap to Address Opioid Crisis

News Update

Major Healthcare Organizations Develop Comprehensive Roadmap to Address Opioid Crisis


June 21, 2018
Actionable recommendations to address opioid misuse, addiction are aimed at lawmakers, regulators, and healthcare industry
Among priorities covered in report are e-prescribing, national real-time access to prescribing data, and expanded access to non-opioid, non-pharmacological, opioid-sparing pain management therapies

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Over 70 organizations representing physicians, hospitals, insurers, drug and device manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, employers and patients among others have released first-of-their-kind comprehensive recommendations aimed at addressing the escalating opioid crisis in the United States. The "Roadmap for Action" gives clear guidance to healthcare leaders, lawmakers, and regulators on comprehensive approaches to stemming the crisis, which has led to an average of more than 115 people in America dying every day from opioid addiction.

The organizations, convened by the Healthcare Leadership Council, have been in communication for several months, building consensus on specific opioid-related recommended actions for Congress, federal regulators, and the healthcare industry.  The group worked with the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, led by former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Dr. Mark McClellan, in developing the Roadmap. 

Among its recommendations, the Roadmap calls for improved patient access to evidence-based, non-opioid, non-pharmacological, opioid-sparing pain management therapies; adoption of e-prescribing for all controlled substances by 2020; a system that provides real-time prescribing data on a national basis to aid healthcare decision making; and improved opioid stewardship and disposal.

"The opioid crisis is claiming too many lives, devastating too many families, and affecting too many communities," said Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council. "This public health crisis requires a comprehensive approach spanning the entire healthcare spectrum, public and private sectors alike. We all have to be part of the solution."

"We are proud to present the Opioid Solutions Roadmap today," said George Barrett, executive chairman of Cardinal Health and chairman of the Healthcare Leadership Council. "This was a truly collaborative process that brought together perspectives and expertise over many months from every corner of the healthcare system. The roadmap represents a shared commitment to developing solutions to help communities and our country address one of the most significant public health challenges of our time."

The Roadmap identifies five overarching priorities as essential to reversing trends in opioid abuse:

·         improving approaches to pain management;

·         preventing opioid misuse;  

·         expanding access to substance use disorder treatment services;  

·         increased use of care coordination through data; and

·         paying for care that is coordinated and high-quality.

Among other recommendations advocated by the organizations are pharmacogenetic testing to assess an individual's risk for opioid misuse, expanded use of telehealth to facilitate access to care in rural and underserved communities, and the creation of an Opioid Learning Action Network through which healthcare leaders could share best practices and develop innovative care models.

To read the full Roadmap for Action and all of its recommendations, or to learn more about the organizations involved in its development, visit