Economic Interview and Brief
Policies such as those surrounding the monitoring of prescription drugs are important in the shaping of the costs of healthcare. The monitoring of prescription medication has economic consequences such as it may contribute to reducing the supply for patients who are in genuine need for the prescriptions. To decipher the thinking around the regulation on opioids as one of the most important prescription drugs in Maryland, I conducted a phone interview with Erek Barron on the issue. Some of the areas that the interview explored included but was not limited to; accessibility of opioids to patients in genuine need, the impact of legislation restricting the administration or access to opioids and the implications of legislation on costs of the prescribed opioids.
Qualification and identity of the interviewee The person to be interviewed is Erek l. If your prespring and documenting appropriate then you have nothing to worry about as a prescriber. However, I am open to the fact that regulation does have a connotation of restricting or restrictive access which comes up. This happens because there is a general feeling in the community and among the patents that are affected by this legislation, that it will be more difficult to walk into a physician office and request for the drug. The legislation does not aim to make the drug more expensive, what it considers is to regulate the prescription hence prevent the drug from getting into the wrong hands. Again, the legislation does not touch on any of the price determinants of the drug, does not make it difficult to access; if you have pain needing opioids the physician has a professional obligation to prescribe all we want is to ensure that this occurs in a safe, legal and efficient manner that can be accounted for.
In fact, the legislation will reduce the possible demand through regulation which in effect is going to improve on availability and eventually a possible price reduction. With proper economic policies and procedures, there should be on demand shift for less regulated products among the genuine populations. The use of economic factors such as affordability of the medication is not a factor that we feel can or should come up. The bill does not impact on the pricing of the opioids and to this end, we have done an economic impact review of the legislation in case it sails through. There is no price regulation for drugs in the USA, however, this does not mean that the elasticity of price for the opioids is that high since there will be a legislation that controls is access to a need-based access.
At the moment, the price elasticity of prescribed opioids is low. The legislation will make the supply of street or illegal opioids to go low hence increasing its price elasticity. The end result is likely to hinge around an increase in accurate prescriptions for genuine opioid users and a reduction in the number of individuals accessing opioids for recreation purposes. It was also insightful to learn that the legislatures involved stakeholders and conducted research assessments before the proposition of the law. This is important in ensuring that the law does not elicit any unexpected impact or implications to the health care system or the genuine drug users (Voermans, ten Napel & Passchier, 2015). The economic impact of the legislation is exemplified through the involvement and use of stakeholders to contribute to the policy brief.
Economic theory The economic framework or model that influences the legislation is the demand and supply economic module. The cost of any product is influenced by the availability and ease of access to that product (Zuo, Ann Wheeler, Adamowicz, Boxall & Hatton-MacDonald, 2015). Opioids, in this case, are presented as a commodity that with current lack of prescription regulation is easily available both to the genuine patient and the illegal addicts who use it. In that regard, opioid prescription regulation will make it more difficult for those who use it for recreation purposes to have difficulties accessing the drug. The other stakeholders are the manufacturers and marketers of the medication. Restricted prescription of the medications will lead to less and fewer prescriptions of the drug due to the likely bureaucracy involved and the avoidance by providers to prescribe due to the legal restrictions that may shift their preferences restricted drug use.
The shift in prescription will favor the use of alternative medications hence reducing the market and profits accruing to the pharmaceuticals who market the medications. Pharmaceuticals are possible opposition to the legislation due to the risks it poses to the pharmaceutical companies. Health care providers with the prescription authority will also be affected by the legislation. Lobbying the support of some of the stakeholders who might either oppose the legislation to win their support and build consensus will provide the bill with an opportunity to receive the support it may need. Lobbying will also address the stakeholders such as patients and patient representatives and organizations affiliated with patient needs to support the bill. Through effective lobbying, the general goodwill of the bill to the community and the general society can be established to create a sense of legitimacy in the bill.
Plausible solutions to the issue The issue of regulation of prescription medication has been and continues to be an issue of concern to many stakeholders. There have been rising concerns about the use of opioids for the non-medical reasons which has led to increased opioid addictions in the state. The passing of such a legislation will hence provide more advantages over the disadvantages hence more benefits. Structuring and consensus The best solution for the problem is to provide the stakeholders with a fair opportunity to communicate their concerns, opposition, and support for the bill and provide rationales. Adoption of the legislation in its current state will be the most efficient solution in addressing the issue at hand. Consensus can be built through the provision of honest implications of the bill, its motive and the future benefits as well as current in having the bill on regulation for prescription medications.
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