The national pharmaceutical trade group PhRMA is joining New Hampshire organizations to combat the opioid crisis. The new effort is called the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) New Hampshire.
At a launch on Thursday in Manchester, RALI New Hampshire announced plans to expand Zero Left, a program that helps people dispose of unused prescription pain medications. Zero Left piloted its educational materials and safe disposal pouches in five Granite Health hospitals last year. PhRMA will pay for the materials to be offered in all hospitals in the state starting this fall.
Governor Sununu praised the initiative. “We want people, when they get their prescription drugs, to have an easy way to dispose of them,” he said. “The more doors of opportunity we can create in fighting this crisis of addiction, the better chance we’re going to have at really pushing back.”
PhRMA is committing $1 million to efforts in New Hampshire in 2018, which will include grants to local recovery and health organizations. Several opioid manufacturers in PhRMA are currently involved in lawsuits with New Hampshire cities.
Priscilla VanderVeer, the deputy vice president for public affairs at PhRMA, said that it wanted to focus on New Hampshire because it was the “epicenter of the epidemic,” and that PhRMA was inspired by local groups’ efforts to combat it.
“RALI is part of the broader efforts that we at PhRMA are undertaking,” she said. “It's really about bringing together local leaders to find solutions that help combat the opioid crisis.”
RALI initiatives also launched in Nevada, Indiana and Maryland this year.