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-   -   Can actuaries help solve the opioid crisis? (http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actuarial_discussion_forum/showthread.php?t=323884)

Stephen Camilli 07-06-2017 11:56 PM

Can actuaries help solve the opioid crisis?
 
I was quite intrigued by this article in the March SOA health section newsletter on the opioid crisis, a public health issue that has weighed heavily on my mind and heart:

http://healthwatch.soa.org/?issueID=3&pageID=23

Based on this article, it seems that we, as a profession could do more to contribute to the solution of this crisis, working together with appropriate groups and individuals, perhaps through building models to identify high-risk individuals, high-risk prescribers, identify effective alternative treatments, etc.

I am far outside my personal area of expertise, but would love to see more actuaries get involved in thinking about solutions to the current crisis.

Dr T Non-Fan 07-07-2017 12:45 PM

Fixed!

http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifest...707-story.html

I think (with no reason) actuaries were behind this. So, you're welcome!

Dr T Non-Fan 07-07-2017 12:49 PM

Interesting section of that article:

Quote:

The study also found a continued increase in long-term prescribing of opioids. The average length of prescriptions rose steadily from about 13 in 2006 to about 18 in 2015, the data show.
"13" what? It is some length, but they don't say if it's days, weeks, months.

Perhaps there is some way to wean people off dosages. Instead of a bottle of same-strength pills, maybe they should be packaged sequentially, like birth control?

JMO 07-08-2017 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan (Post 9021625)
Interesting section of that article:


"13" what? It is some length, but they don't say if it's days, weeks, months.

Perhaps there is some way to wean people off dosages. Instead of a bottle of same-strength pills, maybe they should be packaged sequentially, like birth control?

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-s...-high-cdc-says

Zap 'em for 13 days, it says here. Or 18 days.
Other statistics at the link.

FormLetter 07-10-2017 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan (Post 9021625)
Interesting section of that article:


"13" what? It is some length, but they don't say if it's days, weeks, months.

Perhaps there is some way to wean people off dosages. Instead of a bottle of same-strength pills, maybe they should be packaged sequentially, like birth control?

WRT bolded, underlined part: That is actually what a pain doctor will do if a patient violates their patient-doctor prescribing contract and gets cut from their prescription.

Say they are prescribed 20mg. They will get a taper pack with a few days of 15mg, a few of 10mg, a few of 7.5mg, some 5 mg, and then empty cells after that.

JMO 07-10-2017 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FormLetter (Post 9022904)
WRT bolded, underlined part: That is actually what a pain doctor will do if a patient violates their patient-doctor prescribing contract and gets cut from their prescription.

Say they are prescribed 20mg. They will get a taper pack with a few days of 15mg, a few of 10mg, a few of 7.5mg, some 5 mg, and then empty cells after that.

Seems like too little to late. It the patient has already acted badly, why wouldn't they just rip open all the cells to get the dose they want??

Marcie 07-10-2017 09:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan (Post 9021625)
Interesting section of that article:


"13" what? It is some length, but they don't say if it's days, weeks, months.

My opioid prescription was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf!

lookingon1 07-10-2017 11:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephen Camilli (Post 9021177)
I was quite intrigued by this article in the March SOA health section newsletter on the opioid crisis, a public health issue that has weighed heavily on my mind and heart:

http://healthwatch.soa.org/?issueID=3&pageID=23

Based on this article, it seems that we, as a profession could do more to contribute to the solution of this crisis, working together with appropriate groups and individuals, perhaps through building models to identify high-risk individuals, high-risk prescribers, identify effective alternative treatments, etc.

I am far outside my personal area of expertise, but would love to see more actuaries get involved in thinking about solutions to the current crisis.


Great to bring this up. It's amazing to me that they would write this article and not think of ways to solve the issue with their plethora of skills. Actuaries are the MOST trained public health professionals and are in best position to make a difference but they are satisfied sitting on the sideline and reporting the problems. I congratulate you personally for this excellent observation and post-probably the best one I've ever come across...

Woodrow 07-10-2017 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lookingon1 (Post 9023097)
Great to bring this up. It's amazing to me that they would write this article and not think of ways to solve the issue with their plethora of skills. Actuaries are the MOST trained public health professionals and are in best position to make a difference

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

I have quite a few friends who work in public health, some have public health PhDs or biostatistics PhDs, others just have lots of experience in their field, working at the CDC or university schools of public health.

I think actuaries could bring something different to the table, but I don't see how we are the most trained.

lookingon1 07-10-2017 01:17 PM

Seems you have a lot of friends...

You have as much training as your friends, and they are all contributing to solving this problem. What are actuaries doing, reporting their works?


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