Role of Opioid Prices in the Evolving Opioid Crisis   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Executive Summary: "The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) has previously estimated that the annual economic cost of the opioid crisis is substantially higher than previously thought, at over half a trillion dollars in 2015. In order to better understand the spread of the crisis and mitigate its large costs, it is crucial to understand all the factors underlying it. In this report, the CEA describes and analyzes two separate waves of the crisis--the first wave, from 2001 to 2010, which was characterized by growing overdose deaths involving the misuse of prescription opioids; and the second wave, from 2010 to 2016, which was characterized by growing overdose deaths involving illicitly manufactured opioids (heroin and fentanyl). We find that in the first wave, prescription opioid prices fell in conjunction with expanded government health care coverage and a rising market share of generic opioids. In the second wave, supply expansions of illicit opioids reduced their prices."

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U.S. White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/
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