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Bicycle Health—OUD News and Insights (Jan. 2024)

By | January 17, 2024 | ,

The Misunderstanding of the Opioid Crisis

The number of U.S. fatal drug overdoses has more than doubled in the past eight years, with about 110,000 such deaths in 2022, according to the The National Institutes of Health. The leading cause of death, by far, is fentanyl, which has gone from prescription pain reliever to a synthetic opioid furtively smuggled into the country, and consumed illicitly in pill or powder form.

Medication assisted treatment (specifically Buprenorphine) has proven to be effective in helping OUD patients move past addiction, however, some pharmacies remain skittish.

“One of the biggest challenges is still pharmacies,” Bicycle Health director of research, Scott Weiner, MD told ATB.

Part of pharmacist’s fear, Weiner argued, is a possible misunderstanding that the opioid crisis is being caused by misuse of prescription opioids. In fact, he said, the vast majority of OUD patients are taking fentanyl imported into the country and sold in the illegal drug market, often mixed to increase the potency of another drug.

Read the Behavioral Health Business article here.


Corporate America Needs to be Courageous

KFF29A Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll published in July found that three in ten U.S. adults (29%) said they had someone in their family who struggled with opioid dependence.

In the face of the opioid crisis, leadership in healthcare, public policy, and corporate America is crucial. Albertsons, a major retail chain, recently exemplified this courage by investing in training pharmacy staff to administer buprenorphine injections (Sublocade).

Beyond a mere business decision, this move challenges the stigma surrounding opioid use disorder treatment. Albertsons courageously embraced an underutilized option, defying norms to address the needs of a stigmatized patient population. By providing widespread access through its nationwide pharmacies, Albertsons stands out as a beacon of principled corporate leadership, pushing through stigma and actively combating the overdose crisis.

Catch up on the full Ryan Hampton article here.


A Beacon of Hope

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The TREATS Act, a bipartisan bill reintroduced in late 2023, offers a beacon of hope in addressing the opioid crisis. It aims to permanently remove regulatory barriers to telehealth-based medication for OUD (MOUD) treatment programs, expanding access to this proven and effective treatment modality.

The data shows resounding treatment improvement since the COVID-19 pandemic made access to MOUD available through telehealth.


Becker’s Hospital Review Emerging Leaders List

We are honored that Ankit Gupta made Becker's Hospital Review Emerging Leaders list.

The emerging leaders of this generation are helping to overcome barriers to care access and health equity. These individuals are leaders within healthcare companies that work to bring innovative products, initiatives and strategies to patients. Becker's is delighted to honor these emerging leaders in healthcare, who are 40 years old or younger and are positively impacting their healthcare companies.


Head here to see who else made the list.


In the News

  • The Biggest Win of 2023

    "As the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency ended, the DEA released proposed regulations that could restrict access to telemedicine, despite overwhelming support of its impact for patients. The proposed regulations ultimately received more than 38,000 comments from patients and leaders, convincing the DEA to rethink their proposed in-person requirement and work on an alternative. This was a critical moment for telemedicine at large, and stands as a major step in the right direction in protecting access to care."

    Read the full article (MobiHealthNews)

  • The Invisible 90 Percent

    “Once we started doing telehealth-only, over 30 percent of all new patients coming into our program had never been in an in-person (opioid use disorder) treatment program before. We were finally tapping into that invisible 90 percent that other programs don't serve. And that's just everything for trying to truly address this public health crisis.”

    Check out the full list of thought-provoking quotes (HealthcareInnovation)

New Insurance Partners

In addition to working with providers like Anthem, United HealthCare, Cigna, Medicare and BlueCross BlueShield Bicycle Health adds new insurance partners every month.

This month, we're pleased to announce a new partnership with Florida Blue, the largest single state provider of individual marketplace plans in the country—covering nearly 6 million members.

Previous Updates:

Bicycle Health and OUD Insights and News (Dec. 2023)

Bicycle Health Effective Treatment white paper thumbnail and blog call to action to download