Skip to content
  1. Latest News

Penn Today: The origins of the opioid epidemic

From Penn Today: A state prescription drug policy first adopted in 1939, and last ended in 2004, appears to have influenced where Purdue Pharma chose to market its opioid drug OxyContin upon launch in 1996. The consequences of that decision reverberate to this day, according to a new study in The Quarterly Journal of Economics by LDI senior fellow Abby Alpert and colleagues, who estimate that states with the prescription policy had 11.3 fewer overdose deaths per 100,000 people in 2017. The paper analyzes how public policy can influence and interact with commercial activities, leading to effects that could not be foreseen upon enactment of the policy. In the context of the opioid epidemic, these effects have had enduring impact on overdose deaths in the subsequent generation. Read the full story in Penn Today. 

CHIBE Experts

Research Areas