Opioid Use Disorder briefing focuses on treatments and best practices in care

Industry News

Opioid Use Disorder briefing focuses on treatments and best practices in care 

June 2021

On June 8th, the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, the CA Bio-Pharma Labor Management Association, PhRMA, Biocom California and the California Biotechnology Foundation held a virtual educational briefing regarding best practices used in treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

The event brought together dozens of representatives from the life sciences industry, union workers and managers, legislative staff, healthcare stakeholders and medical experts to encourage cooperation between the trades and the biopharma industry to combat OUD.

Participants heard from experts in the field of behavioral health and treatment of OUD about best practices for care and prevention of OUD and other substance abuse disorders. Speakers discussed the innovative programs that are having positive results in OUD prevention and for patients trying to overcome OUD. They also shared obstacles that keep them from accessing programs and policies that can help.

Highlights included:

  • Robbie Hunter, President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California. Hunter reminded briefing participants that the construction industry is a profession of hard and sometimes dangerous labor with a higher potential for injury.  He overviewed the critical role of the life-sciences industry in helping building trades workers who get hurt on the job with the treatments they need to get healthy and back to work.
  • Joe Panetta, President and CEO, Biocom California. Panetta discussed the unique partnership between the life sciences industry and the building trades to engage in efforts that are important to labor especially in fighting the opioid crisis in California, nationally and worldwide.
  • Flo Kahn, Deputy Vice President of state advocacy for PhRMA (CA, NV and AZ). Kahn discussed the long-term relationships between the biopharma industry and labor organizations not only to construct dozens of major life sciences building projects but to also raise awareness of Opioid Use Disorder through emerging research in effective OUD treatments.
  • Marc Gonzalez, Pharm.D., President of Professional Diversion Intelligence Network, Inc. As a pharmaceutical diversion consultant recognized worldwide for his work with law enforcement, healthcare organizations, the military, and distributors and manufacturers of controlled substances, Dr. Gonzalez reviewed how employers can identify OUD in the workplace and the chemical changes in the brain that perpetuate drug use even in the face of job and family loss, incarceration, and irreversible self-harm. He also summarized what employers can do to help individuals with these issues as well as best practices in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and pain management.
  • Candace Madden, BSHARN, Clinical Manager for the Electrical Workers Health and Welfare Trust Fund, IBEW #357 in Las Vegas. Ms. Madden discussed her pioneering work as a case manager and patient advocate providing health care education to improve Electrical Workers’ health and her goal of establishing like programs for Building Trades across the country. Her work has reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits, health care costs, and most importantly, gets trades members healthy and back to work.

To review a recording of the OUD briefing visit this link. The briefing e-Binder of materials can be found here. For more information or questions, contact Patty Cooper at (916) 764-2434.

For more information, contact Patty Cooper with the California Biotechnology Foundation at 916-764-2434 or [email protected].