Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse

NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse on July 16th released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) through their SBIR program, seeking ways to avoid the abuse, misuse, and diversion of prescription opioids by patients. The CDC has recently classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic.

Over 70 percent of people who abuse or misuse drugs get them get them from the person that originally received the prescription. It is believed that the ready availability of prescription drugs in schools and at home contributes to the current epidemic.

Opioid analgesics are widely prescribed for the treatment to help patients in pain. However, with an increase in prescription opioids abuse and misuse, new approaches are needed to reduce their non-medical use.

Some of the steps needed to have safer opioid analgesics would be to reformulate medications so that an individual would not be able to or would not want to divert the prescription drug to others, and/or create innovative medication dispensing devices and gadgets. The FOA addresses and seeks research capabilities on device technologies but also on how to provide the analytical, preclinical, clinical, and statistical methods for evaluating these technologies.

NIDA wants to see thoroughly designed clinical/user studies demonstrating that the innovative dispensing device or gadget is capable of affecting abuse-deterrent outcome. The studies need to be scientifically rigorous and include appropriate data analyses to permit a meaningful statistical analysis.

Eligible organizations submitting applications must be small business concerns. NIDA intends to fund two to nine awards which will correspond to a total of $3,000,000 or fiscal year 2014. The Letter of Intent is due September 11, 2013 with applications due on October 11, 2013.

For more information, go to


Share Button