Shaina Smith, third from left, at the roundtable.

Shaina Smith, U.S. Pain director of State Advocacy & Alliance Development, was among several panelists who gathered July 20 in Concord, N.H., to discuss the findings of a draft report on abuse-deterrent formularies (ADFs), or pain medications that are formulated to be difficult to crush or tamper with. The draft report was released in May by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a nonprofit that evaluates evidence on the value of medical tests, treatments, and innovations.

The meeting was convened by the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC), an ICER program. The goal was to assess whether ADFs are an effective, affordable way to address the opioid crisis.

During the panel, Smith spoke from the viewpoint of the organization and as a person living with pain. “We were discouraged to learn that ICER does not view ADF technology as a way to help put a stop to the unnecessary abuse of critical medications,” Smith said.

Smith went on to say that the report failed to recognize the benefits of reducing diversion, lacked data noting unintended outcomes of the recommendations on pain patients, and that ICER’s final report may cause insurers to deny coverage of such treatment options.

The roundtable was followed with a vote by members of CEPAC on several key questions. Of note, all members voted in favor of leaving the decision to prescribe ADFs in the hands of clinicians.

“We all know these medications are not addiction prevention and won’t end addiction, but they are one of many efforts that can make a difference,” says Smith.

Following the meeting, ICER stated it would be working on finalizing its report and recommendations by Aug. 1. For more information on U.S. Pain’s position on ADFs, click here.