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Public Contract Law Journal ; 52(2):277-296, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2299333


The purpose of this Note is to create a holistic solution for the U.S. Department of Labor to apply amidst the United States ongoing opioid crisis, which will serve to both prevent addiction before it can develop and treat existing cases of addiction. To this aim, this Note examines and analyzes the connections between the opioid crisis and another co-existing public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the procurement procedures taken to resolve them. The argument is developed throughout three sections. First, this Note provides background information demonstrating the detrimental impact of opioid misuse and addiction, as well as the impact that COVID-19 in particular has had on rates of misuse and addiction in the United States. ally, this section introduces efforts taken to resolve the crisis, including the Department of Labors Pharmacy Benefit Management program, which is the subject of this Note. Second, this Note examines the Department of Labors Pharmacy Benefit Program, addressing the singularly preventative nature of the program, which fails to support a holistic solution. Additionally, this Note addresses concerns relating to the use of pharmacy benefit management services in general, particularly the cost-increasing nature of such mechanisms. In the final section, following an examination of the procurement procedure used to acquire COVID-19 vaccines, this Note proposes the application of a similar pharmaceutical procurement approach to combatting the opioid crisis. To conclude, this Note argues that by contracting with pharmaceutical companies to develop a safer and less addictive treatment plan, the Department of Labor would be able to prevent, as well as treat, opioid addiction.