This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report saying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should review the safety and effectiveness of all opioid painkillers.

The opioid epidemic in the US costs more than $500 billion a year

$504 billion

The opioid epidemic cost the US economy $504 billion in 2015, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisors—much higher than previous estimates, and equal to 2.8% of GDP.

Published   |  Photo by AP Photo/Toby Talbot
This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report saying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should review the safety and effectiveness of all opioid painkillers.
$504 billion

The most recent estimate, based on healthcare costs and lost productivity, includes illegal opioids like heroin, while previous studies only looked at prescription painkillers.

This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report saying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should review the safety and effectiveness of all opioid painkillers.
$504 billion

The situation now is almost certainly worse: About 30,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose In 2015, versus about 50,000 in 2016.

This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report saying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should review the safety and effectiveness of all opioid painkillers.
$504 billion

Deaths related to opioids in the US between 1999 and 2014

This Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills, also known as Vicodin, arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. On Thursday, July 13, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a report saying the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should review the safety and effectiveness of all opioid painkillers.
$504 billion

US president Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency in October. But critics said the announcement would have little impact as it didn’t allocate any funding.

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