OHE Annual Lecture 2019: The Evolution of U.S. Policy Responses to the Opioid Epidemic

Join OHE for an evening lecture with Professor Richard Frank on Tuesday 15th October 2019 at The Royal Society, London.

In 2017 more than 70,000 people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses. Opioids were implicated in an estimated 68% of those deaths. The U.S. response to the crisis has been multifaceted, including efforts aimed at prevention, treatment and harm reduction. The policy response in the form of spending patterns, regulation, and law enforcement has been heterogeneous in focus, uneven in intensity, and likely to require years of continued commitment to contain the epidemic.

For OHE’s Annual Lecture 2019, Richard G. Frank, PhD will discuss two dimensions of the U.S. response – treatment and harm reduction – placed into the larger context of the American opioid epidemic. He will review tools available to federal and state governments for promoting treatment and harm reduction. In particular, he will direct attention to economic and regulatory policy and review how they have been deployed. This will include efforts grounded in the health sector, the law enforcement system, and human services. The discussion will conclude with some suggestions for additional high-impact policy measures that federal and state governments could adopt.

Richard G. Frank, PhD, is the Margaret T. Morris Professor of Health Economics. His research is focused on the economics of mental health and substance abuse care, long term care financing policy, health care competition and implementation of health reform, and disability policy. He served as the deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), directing the office of Disability, Aging and Long-Term Care Policy from 2009-2011. From 2014-2016, he served as the DHHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation. Dr. Frank served as an editor for the Journal of Health Economics for nine years. He was awarded the Carl A. Taube Award from the American Public Health Association and the John Eisenberg Mentorship Award from the National Research Service Awards. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He received the Academy Health Distinguished Investigator Award in June 2018. 

He is co-author with Sherry Glied of the book Better but Not Well (Johns Hopkins Press). Dr. Frank received his BA in economics from Bard University and his PhD in economics from Boston University.

The lecture will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday 15th October 2019 at The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AG.

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