Cost of Opioid Crisis

New Study Captures Total Economic Impact of Crisis

The Council of Economic Advisers released a new study on the cost of the opioid crisis, and estimated a total annual impact of $500 billion on the US economy.

As reported by Marketwatch, some cities are filing lawsuits against drug manufacturers to help pay for the mounting costs of the crisis. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is seeking about $500 million in a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors, to recover some costs New York has suffered as a result of opioid abuse.

Opioids have put a financial burden on the city, increasing the use of drug treatment services, inpatient hospital services, medical examiner costs, criminal justice costs, and law enforcement costs, city officials said. Those costs include about 45,000 emergency-room visits for opioid patients in 2017, and delivering naloxone, an antidote for overdoses.

The economic cost of the opioid crisis in 2015 was $504 billion, much higher than previous estimates, according to a report from The Council of Economic Advisers, an agency that is part of the Executive Office of the President.

The new analysis from CEA is higher than previous estimates because it goes beyond “conventional methods” to account for the value of lives lost, the authors of the report said. Plus, since the previous studies, the opioid crisis has worsened and caused more deaths.

Even before the CEA’s analysis, the estimated costs of the crisis were staggering. Patients with untreated opioid use disorders tend to incur $18,000 more in health-care costs annually than those without such a disorder, according to a 2011 study in the American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits.

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To read more about the staggering economic impact of the current opioid crisis, please visit Marketwatch.com.

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