Resistance to the Use of Prescription Drugs to Treat Addiction Disorders is a Significant Barrier to Market Growth

Stringent Reimbursement Policies Limit Prescription Drug Treatment, Particularly for Nicotine Addiction, According to a New Report from Decision Resources

WALTHAM, Mass., January 23, 2007 -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that resistance to the use of prescription drugs to treat addiction in favor of cognitive-behavioral therapy (psychosocial support) alone, particularly among addiction counselors and in the primary care setting, is a significant barrier to growth in the addiction drug market.

The new Pharmacor report Addiction Disorders finds that the failure of general practitioners to recognize drug addiction or to properly screen their patients, coupled with apathy about the benefits of drug treatment and reluctance to admit drug-addicted patients into their practice, continues to suppress diagnosis rates and drug-treatment rates in the world's major pharmaceutical markets (the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom). Experts believe that enhanced awareness through education is necessary to bring treatment to more patients.

The report, which covers the markets for addiction to nicotine, alcohol, opioids, and psychostimulants, also finds that stringent reimbursement policies from third-party payers and national health systems limits the prescription of drugs to treat nicotine addiction. In the United States and Europe, in particular, limited reimbursement restricts prescription drug use for this large population of patients.

"Addiction experts cite the need for more-comprehensive reimbursement of both behavioral therapies and pharmacotherapies for addiction disorders," said Kate Hohenberg, principal director at Decision Resources. "In Europe, reimbursement for nicotine addiction -- smoking cessation -- is of particular concern. Although the World Health Organization and the European countries under study recognize cigarette smoking as a major health concern, physicians say reimbursement for nicotine addiction therapies is typically not available. In the United States, addiction specialists report that the reimbursement of therapies to treat all addictions is notably inadequate."

Source: Decision Resources

Posted: January 2007


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