Study Examining Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Finds Greater Barriers to Care During Pandemic
RICHMOND, Va., April 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Indivior PLC (LON: INDV) today announced findings from a qualitative study examining the impact of COVID-19 on opioid use disorder (OUD) management and medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) access in the U.S. which found that 85% of participants agreed that patients with OUD experienced more barriers to care during the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Results from the study, entitled "Impact of COVID-19 on OUD Management and MOUD Access in the US," were presented at the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) 2021 virtual meeting. The study was conducted to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the management of OUD in the US from both provider and payer perspectives, as well as to gain insight into strategies adopted by healthcare organizations to overcome access barriers to OUD care and MOUD.1
The study found that OUD patients faced even greater barriers to care during the COVID-19 pandemic than usual. Providers and payers acknowledged that patients had limited access to clinics and healthcare personnel as treatment facilities cancelled appointments and reduced hours of operation.1 Twenty percent of respondents reported increased relapse rates, 45% reported increase in overdose rates, and 45% reported increased emergency department visits.1 A decline in medication adherence was reported by 25% of respondents.1 One fourth of respondents reported a switch to extended-release formulations of MOUD and another 25% reported an increase in MOUD dose.1 There also was a higher demand for psychosocial support during the pandemic.1
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people struggling with opioid use disorder have experienced a decline in treatment, management, and health outcomes.1 This study revealed that while telemedicine and other solutions have emerged, OUD patients are still suffering and need additional support to help them with their recovery," said Murali Gopal M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Indivior.
In addition to impacting patient care, the COVID-19 pandemic also impacted healthcare organizations overall. Twenty percent of respondents reported a decrease in the number of patients with OUD being seen due to limited face-to-face contact and reduced clinic hours.1 These resulted from the shift in medical resources to the treatment of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 including bed space, funding, and reassignment of medical personnel.1 Barriers to monitoring OUD patients, including patient transportation, income, and less access to counseling, were also reported.1
The study also showed that many healthcare organizations implemented solutions designed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on patients and organizations. Telemedicine was the most common solution adopted by healthcare organizations.1 Seventy-five percent of respondents stated that patients with OUD had a positive response to telemedicine.1 However, telemedicine was not as effective for certain patient subpopulations, including elderly patients and those with socioeconomic vulnerabilities due to a lack of reliable access to the internet and/or technology.1 Additional solutions included renewing medications without face-to-face visits or extending the duration of refills.1 Frequent remote outreach was also helpful, as was curbside urine drug testing.1 Support provided by pharmaceutical manufacturers for patient education, emotional support hotlines, and patient assistance programs were recommended by respondents.1
"The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on the opioid crisis in the U.S. More than 87,000 people died from drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in September 2020, a 29 percent increase over the previous year,2" said Mark Crossley, Chief Executive Officer, Indivior. "This study provided new insights into the evolution of OUD treatment during the pandemic, and it is our hope that research such as this may help clinicians determine how best they can help patients access evidence-based treatment and the supports they need to move onto a path to recovery."
About the Study1
Various factors may cause differences between Indivior's expectations and actual results, including, among others (including those described in the risk factors described in the most recent Indivior PLC Annual Report and in subsequent releases): factors affecting sales of Indivior Group's products and financial position; the outcome of research and development activities; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding the Indivior Group's drug applications or authorizations; the speed with which regulatory authorizations, pricing approvals and product launches may be achieved, if at all; the outcome of post-approval clinical trials; competitive developments; difficulties or delays in manufacturing and in the supply chain; disruptions in or failure of information technology systems; the impact of existing and future legislation and regulatory provisions on product exclusivity; trends toward managed care and healthcare cost containment; legislation or regulatory action affecting pharmaceutical product pricing, reimbursement or access; challenges in the commercial execution; claims and concerns that may arise regarding the safety or efficacy of the Indivior Group's products and product candidates; risks related to legal proceedings, including compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice Resolution and Settlement Agreements, noncompliance with which could result in potential exclusion from participating in U.S. Federal health care programs; the ongoing investigative and antitrust litigation matters; the opioid national multi-district litigation and securities class action litigation; the Indivior Group's ability to protect its patents and other intellectual property; the outcome of patent infringement litigation relating to Indivior Group's products, including the ongoing ANDA lawsuits; changes in governmental laws and regulations; issues related to the outsourcing of certain operational and staff functions to third parties; risks related to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the potential impact of COVID-19 on the Indivior Group's operations and financial condition, which cannot be predicted with confidence; uncertainties related to general economic, political, business, industry, regulatory and market conditions; and the impact of acquisitions, divestitures, restructurings, internal reorganizations, product recalls and withdrawals and other unusual items.
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SOURCE Indivior PLC
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