FFF Enterprises: The Battle to Reign In the Opioid Crisis

HITLAB TEAM • July 6, 2023

The opioid pandemic has had a devastating impact on communities across the United States. In 2020, more than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses, most of which involved opioids. As COVID-19 took the headlines, and has since waned, the opioid crisis remains a growing problem, costing the US billions each year. For Rachel Meier, the crisis hit on a personal level as she struggled with opioid addiction after a devastating car accident. For Dr. Renee Manworen, a pediatric pain specialist, advocating for responsible prescriptive use has become her calling to educate healthcare providers. Additionally, there is a need to increase the awareness, availability, and use of naloxone, an opioid antagonist (reversal agent) for overdoses.

Meier’s recent article in BioSupply Trends Quarterly highlighted a new disturbing trend of counterfeit medication obtained through online pharmacies. Social media platforms, such as Instagram, TikTok, and even Twitter, have given consumers with legitimate and illegitimate medical reasons easy access to counterfeit drugs. Meier notes that “rogue online pharmacies illegally capitalize on consumers who either want easy access to controlled substances without a prescription … or want convenient access to legitimate prescriptions at a lower cost.” For innovative biopharmaceutical companies, such as FFF Enterprises Inc. (FFF), the increasing trend of unregulated online pharmacies has added another challenging dynamic to an already complex environment surrounding opioid use. However, the company has remained committed to battling the pandemic through its naloxone distribution program, which has begun to gain steam nationally.

In 2022, HarborPath, a North Carolina-based non-profit, selected FFF as its exclusive distributor for naloxone for its mail order pharmacy program. With a 48-hour turnaround time once a prescription is received, FFF has provided access to this lifesaving drug to 32 counties across the state. As more data surrounding opioid addiction becomes available, there seems to be a greater understanding of the lifelong battles people deal with when it comes to opioid addiction. As Dr. Manworren has noted throughout her lectures, “opioid addiction is a chronic disease, but it is treatable. There is hope for recovery. We need to make sure that people who are struggling with addiction have access to the treatment they need.” For Meier, the greater availability of naloxone, which “in many states…is available without a prescription,” is key to saving lives. However, more safeguards for prescriptive medications need to be in place. Federal authorities, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are taking greater aim at rogue pharmacies as well as the over-prescribing of controlled substances. Still, there is more work that needs to be done.

The opioid crisis is complex, and there is no easy solution. However, Meier, Manworen, and FFF Enterprises are making a difference. They are providing much-needed services to people struggling with addiction, and they are working to raise awareness about the crisis and to advocate for policies that will help to prevent addiction and overdose. Continuing to provide access to the lifesaving medication naloxone, highlighting changing emerging trends that increase the risk of overuse and abuse, as well as educating providers and patients alike are concrete steps toward making a lasting impact on this public health crisis. Through greater awareness comes more action, not from a select few, but from the many.

About FFF Enterprises

Since 1988, FFF has been recognized as the nation’s leading supplier of critical-care biopharmaceuticals, plasma products (including albumin, intravenous immune globulin and coagulation products) and vaccines. FFF is also known for Helping Healthcare Care®, with a flawless safety track record and an unwavering commitment to customer-driven innovation.  Customers enjoy access to a nationwide salesforce with local representatives, and on-call infusion, specialty pharmacy and reimbursement advisors. With partners that include the largest and most influential GPOs and nearly two billion dollars in annual sales, FFF has earned its reputation as the largest and most trusted distributor of human blood products, vaccines and critical-care biopharmaceutical products in the United States.

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