Response to The Doctors Company’s Physician Survey on Opioid Use
– Roneet Lev, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Office of National Drug Control Policy
On behalf of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), I would like to acknowledge The Doctors Company’s highlighting of the opioid epidemic and safe prescribing practices. The Doctors Company’s social media surveys of physicians, as well as national data, demonstrate that the medical community is responding to the message about safe prescribing and is exploring solutions.
Initial market data suggests that the total amount of opioids being prescribed monthly has dropped 34 percent from January 2017 through February 2019. The invaluable efforts of the medical community have helped to reduce the morphine milligram equivalents (MME) to 175 billion MME in 2017. That is the equivalent of 52 pills per American adult. While this is a significant improvement, it still is not near the prescribing numbers from 1992 of 25 billion MME, or 22 pills per adult.