In a press briefing last week from the White House Opioid Commission, it was requested that the President immediately declare a national public health emergency due to the severity of its findings. Such a declaration is normally issued or associated with some catastrophic natural disaster. But the fact that 142 Americans die from accidental, and therefore preventable, drug overdoses every day, the significance of the issue is readily apparent. To further highlight the severity of the matter, the Commission noted in its report that as a consequence of the opioid epidemic, “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks”.
As covered by many news outlets including CNN and Medscape, the report makes several proposals to help combat this crisis, including:
– Mandating physician education including understanding of risk factors.
– Encourage and boost medication assisted treatment (MAT).
– Increase availability of the overdose reversal agent naloxone.
– Change in Medicaid policy to require the federal government to pay more for medication treatment.
Doctor Bertha Madras, a professor of psychobiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts noted that more physicians need to be better educated in dealing with substance use issues; and the healthcare system as a whole needs to stop overlooking the fact that mental health problems are “massive contributors” to substance use disorders. “If there isn’t an integration of mental and physical health in a revolutionary new way, we aren’t going to be able to address the entirety of the problem in a systematic and coordinated fashion”, said Dr. Madras.
Given the aforementioned emphasis on the problems at hand, NextGen Laboratories provides a novel toolkit to help curb the devastation of this Opioid Epidemic. Introducing our Medication Management Program, our 3-step system gives managing clinicians unparalleled insight and options when managing patients who may be candidates for opioid therapy:
Step 1: Order the PharmaDx Panel from NextGen Labs
– Utilize a comprehensive drug metabolism assay covering prominent mutations across 7 genes that can identify those likely to suffer from toxic effects due to hereditary pharmacokinetics.
Step 2: Order the NeuroDx Panel from NextGen Labs
– Obtain additional clarity on predispositions of a patient’s drug response, for outcomes such as opioid addiction and other suboptimal responses to therapy, with our 14-gene pharmacodynamics panel.
Step 3: Enroll in routine Toxicology Testing from NextGen Labs
– Be confident in your management of the patient even with confounding comorbidities; by taking advantage of our 100+ drug testing panels for routine monitoring of patient progress.
By integrating the three aforementioned tests into daily practice, coupled with our library of more than 600 drug-gene correlation reports, NextGen Laboratories can be your partner in the fight against the Opioid Epidemic that plagues our nation.
Contact Us Today for more information!