The Business Case for Opioid-Dependence and Alcohol-Dependence Medications



July 10, 2012

The Business Case for Opioid-Dependence and Alcohol-Dependence Medications

Eric Goplerud, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President and Director
Substance Abuse, Mental Health, and Criminal Justice Studies
NORC at the University of Chicago

This presentation will review the evidence supporting medical treatment for opioid- and alcohol-dependence, and the importance of medications in the effective and cost-efficient treatment of addiction.   State Medicaid agencies and insurance companies have been moving to cut costs by restricting access to buprenorphine and other addiction medications by mandating prior authorization, limiting treatment duration, or by simply not covering these medications. 

Dr. Goplerud will discuss recent research on the costs to Medicaid and other payers of restricted access.   Research shows that medical treatment of opioid dependence and alcohol dependence is less expensive than no treatment or drug-free treatments.   When physician services and pharmaceutical costs are included, medication treatment of addiction is consistently less expensive to Medicaid and other insurers than no treatment or drug-free treatments.   There are intriguing and important differences in the cost to payers associated with various medical treatments for addiction.  

The webinar will provide powerful evidence that can be used in interactions  with State  Medicaid agencies and health insurers about improving coverage and reducing restrictions on medical treatment for addictions.

To access Dr. Goplerud's presentation slides please click here.

To access citations and additioanl resources click here.

Please email pcssb@psych.org to provide your comments or suggestions for future webinar topics.