A few examples include:
Abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs): ADFs help prevent opioid abuse by impeding the delivery of their active ingredient or by making the abuse of the drug more difficult or less rewarding. Going well beyond making capsules harder to crush and snort, ADFs include chemical barriers that either reduce the euphoria associated with abuse or cause an unpleasant effect if a higher-than-suggested dose is consumed.
Non-opioid analgesics: Providing pain relief without the use of addictive opiates, these medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, novel treatments that target pain signals in the brain and more-targeted approaches to numbing pain and preventing inflammatory processes. Currently, there are 40 non-opioid analgesics in development for acute and chronic pain.
Medicines to treat addiction: These treatments work in combination with other forms of recovery and serve as an important part of any comprehensive treatment plan to help patients who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. While there are currently three approved medicines for opioid-use disorder, biopharmaceutical companies are working to develop innovative ways to treat addiction, including vaccines that guard against opioid addiction and other novel approaches.
Medicines to reverse overdose: Finally, although there are treatments that currently are effective in reversing an opioid overdose when delivered in a timely manner, there is a need for devices and delivery approaches that are easier to use and provide more potent effects.