Newswise — Park Ridge, Illinois—The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), which represents more than 52,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), applauds Purdue Pharma for its steps to address the opioid epidemic in the United States by ending all promotion of its opioid, OxyContin, to prescribers.
“We are very pleased with Purdue Pharma’s announcement that it will no longer promote OxyContin in the healthcare community, and we hope other pharmaceutical companies who manufacture and market opioids will follow suit,” said AANA President Bruce Weiner, DNP, MSNA, CRNA. “With more than two million people misusing prescription opioids each year, it is time for every facet of the healthcare industry to do its part to help end this epidemic. Purdue’s recent decision is a step in the right direction for the pharmaceutical industry.”
OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opioid made by modifying morphine, which is derived from opium. The active ingredient, oxycodone, is said to be twice as powerful and as addictive as heroin. In 2013, it was reported that 6.9 million people had used OxyContin non-medically in their lifetime. In 2016, Purdue products accounted for approximately two percent of the 11.7 billion opioids prescribed, equaling around 234 million pills.
“The abuse and addiction statistics surrounding OxyContin and other prescription opioids are frightening. Any step the healthcare industry can take to reduce the need for and abuse of opioids is movement toward ending this deadly epidemic,” said Weiner. “We are hopeful that Purdue’s new approach to marketing the drug will encourage healthcare providers to exercise more caution when prescribing it to patients—how much, how often, for what and to whom.”
“Taking the promotional focus off of opioids can serve as a challenge to healthcare providers to advance other pathways to pain management,” said Weiner. “There are evidence-based pain management practices being implemented by CRNAs and other healthcare providers, like the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery model, that are proven to reduce or even eliminate the need for opioids.”
“The American opioid epidemic takes the lives of tens of thousands of people every year and will continue to do so if healthcare leaders do not come together and find alternative ways to treat and manage pain,” said Weiner. “AANA and CRNAs are committed to solving the opioid crisis, and we are proud to work with the entire healthcare community to make this a reality.”
For more information on CRNAs’ approach to pain management, please visit www.future-of-anesthesia-care-today.com.
About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, IL, and Washington, D.C., the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization representing more than 52,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses and anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals. For more information, visit www.aana.com and www.future-of-anesthesia-care-today.com and follow @aanawebupdates on Twitter.