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Due to the recent precautions made by the University of Chicago, the Economics of the Opioid Epidemic conference will take place as scheduled via Zoom video conference. The updated conference agenda can be found at the link below, including the addition of break out discussions. On Friday, April 3, please join the meeting using the following link:

Join Conference: https://uchicago.zoom.us/j/672431837
Meeting ID: 672-431-837

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jennifer Manor at jmanor@uchicago.edu.

U.S. life expectancy, which is one of the most important indicators of health, fell in both 2015 and 2016.  A single year drop had not happened in 20 years, and two consecutive drops had not occurred in more than 50 years. The unusual reversal in the national trend toward longer lives is widely understood to be connected to the opioid epidemic, whose costs have been estimated to be about half trillion dollars per year in recent years.

Economic analysis of market fundamentals has a lot to say about why this has happened. Technological change, including new supply chains, are important. As another example, federal sentencing reform not only affects the “low-level drug offenders” at risk of arrest but also the market price, quality, and aggregate consumption of the illicitly-manufactured opioids that they are trafficking. Financial incentives for hospitals can affect the opioid consumption of individuals who may never visit a hospital.

The Economics of the Opioid Epidemic conference is hosted by Casey B. Mulligan, acting director of the Project on Foundational Research in Health Care Markets and Policies, and will explore the various efforts in public policy and their subsequent impact on the crises. Researchers will make presentations on aspects of the epidemic including the targeted drug launch and marketing tactics of the Pharma Industry, the introduction of abuse-deterrent opioid substitutes, the expansion of Naloxone access across state-run facilities, and the mandating of rigorous prescribing practices through Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). The conference will conclude with a collaborative panel to discuss emerging research and assess research areas still in need of attention.


Friday, April 3, 2020
8:30 am - 9:00 am
Breakout and main conference “rooms” open for early arrivers
9:00 am - 9:45 am
Introduction; Prices and Federal Policies in Opioid Markets
Casey B. Mulligan, University of Chicago
9:45 am - 10:30 am
Origins of the Opioid Crises and Its Enduring Impacts
William Evans, University of Notre Dame
10:30 am - 11:15 am
Supply-Side Drug Policy in the Presence of Substitutes: Evidence from the Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids
Abby Alpert, University of Pennsylvania
11:15 am - 11:30 am
Break Out Discussion I
11:30 am - 12:15 pm
Can Policy Affect Initiation of Addictive Substance Use? Evidence from Opioid Prescribing
Dan Sacks, Indiana University
12:15 pm - 12:45 pm
Lunch Break
12:45 pm - 1:30 pm
The Effects of Naloxone Access Laws on Opioid Abuse, Mortality, and Crime
Anita Mukherjee, University of Wisconsin - Madison
1:30 pm - 2:15 pm
The Effect of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Opioid Utilization in Medicare
Colleen Carey, Cornell University
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Break Out Discussion II
2:30 pm - 3:05 pm
Panel Discussion: Necessary Research
3:05 pm - 3:10 pm
Closing Remarks
Casey B. Mulligan, University of Chicago
3:10 pm - 3:30 pm
Breakout and main conference rooms remain open for late departures