U.S. Public and Doctors'* Misperceptions Revealed in National Survey Demonstrate Urgent Need for Increased Opioid Dependence

     U.S. Public and Doctors'* Misperceptions Revealed in National Survey
      Demonstrate Urgent Need for Increased Opioid Dependence Awareness

Major Stigma and Anticipated Negative Outcomes Associated With Opioid
Dependence Patients and Treatment

PR Newswire

RICHMOND, Va., June 11, 2013

RICHMOND, Va., June 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Despite the growing population of
individuals living with opioid dependence (addiction) and significant media
coverage about this U.S. epidemic, a new national survey reveals both U.S.
adults and primary care doctors harbor a variety of misperceptions and
stereotypes about opioid dependence that may impact the way the disease – and
those living with it – are treated. The survey,+ which involved more than
1,000 adults ages 26-49 ("adults") and 200 non-Drug Addiction Treatment Act
(DATA) 2000 certified primary care doctors ("doctors"), was conducted online
by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals
Inc. to understand U.S. attitudes about opioid dependence – also known as
prescription painkiller and heroin addiction – and treatment for the disease.

Opioid Dependence Misunderstood as a Disease
Nearly half (47%) of all adults surveyed reported having a personal connection
with addiction and almost one-in-eight (12%) personally struggled with
addiction – more than diabetes (7%) or cancer (3%). Two-thirds of adults
(68%) and nearly nine-in-ten doctors (87%) agree opioid dependence affects
millions of Americans and three-quarters of adults (76%) and the majority of
doctors (96%) are aware misuse or abuse of opioid prescription painkillers
poses a significant burden on the U.S. healthcare system. While nearly
nine-in-ten doctors (88%) recognize addiction as a disease, only about
six-in-ten adults (59%) agree. In fact, over two-thirds (68%) of adults and
eight-in-ten doctors (80%) say opioid dependence represents a mental health
problem, and nearly half of adults (45%) and almost one-third of doctors (30%)
believe opioid dependence is more of a psychological problem (e.g., lifestyle
choice) rather than a physical illness (e.g., chronic disease).

Doctors Perpetuating Disease Stigma
Stigma may be a possible barrier to treatment – more than three-fourths (77%)
of adults and most doctors (93%) mention shame or embarrassment, fear that
others will find out and/or fear of putting life on hold as reasons why those
suffering from addiction would refrain from seeking treatment. But these
barriers can be broken with greater understanding of the nature of the

While nine-in-ten adults (91%) and doctors (92%) agree opioid dependence can
happen to anyone, doctors feel a low level of education (66%) and a low income
(57%), among other factors, could cause someone to be more likely to
experience opioid dependence. Yet opioid dependence is an equal opportunity
condition, affecting individuals of all ages, genders, races and socioeconomic

Additional misconceptions persist among doctors. Only about one-quarter of
doctors (27%) believe any doctor can prescribe medication to treat someone
with opioid dependence. Further, when asked why they have not received DATA
2000 certification to dispense or prescribe certain FDA approved medication
for maintenance treatment of opioid dependence, one-third of doctors (31%)
said they don't need DATA 2000 certification to treat patients with opioid
dependence or prefer not to treat patients with the disease (7%). These
doctors most commonly cited the following reasons: the patient population is
difficult to treat (78%)++; it would require an overwhelming amount of
paperwork or take up time their office staff and they do not have the ability
to give (61%)++; and not wanting their practice to be viewed as an "addiction"
practice (55%)++.

"The stigma that unjustly exists towards those who suffer from opioid
dependence could negatively impact or even prevent people from receiving the
care they need," said Mark L. Kraus, M.D., FASAM, assistant clinical professor
of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and a fellow of the American
Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). "What is eye-opening about the survey
is the realization that the treatment community has contributed to
perpetuating it; there is a desperate need for doctors who are willing to
treat opioid dependence as they would other chronic diseases."

Relapse is Accepted as Inevitable
Two-thirds of adults (67%) and a similar proportion of doctors (65%) believe
opioid dependence can be cured, and the vast majority of adults (92%) and
doctors (98%) say the disease is treatable. Yet only about two-thirds of
adults (35%) and nearly one-quarter of doctors (21%) agree a stay at a
rehabilitation clinic is very effective, and more than half of adults (56%)
and over two-thirds of doctors (69%) believe the vast majority of people
living with opioid dependence will experience a relapse.

Nearly three-quarters of adults (71%) and an even greater proportion of
doctors (85%) agree people living with addiction do not seek help because they
believe they can stop on their own. However, the majority of adults (83%) and
an even greater proportion of doctors (92%) agree people recovering from
opioid dependence need a long-term combination of medication and behavioral
changes to be successful with treatment. Nearly three-in-five adults (58%)
and even more doctors (73%) strongly support the use of prescription
medication to treat opioid dependence. Yet only about four-in-ten adults (44%)
are aware obtaining prescription medication from a doctor is a treatment

"The survey sheds light on barriers beyond the commonly perceived lack of
patient recognition of the disease and motivation to seek treatment. As a
pioneer in office-based treatment for opioid dependence, Reckitt Benckiser
Pharmaceuticals is committed to doing everything we can to raise awareness
about this disease and help reduce the misperceptions, stigma and stereotypes
surrounding it," said Richard Simkin, president of Reckitt Benckiser
Pharmaceuticals. "Finding new ways to reach those suffering in silence and
help them overcome their addiction is at the forefront of everything we do,
and the information we've garnered from this survey will serve as a strong
cornerstone for our future educational efforts among both the U.S. public and

Education is critical, as two-thirds of adults (67%) and more than one-third
of doctors (35%) still feel like they do not know much about opioid
dependence. In fact, nearly half (44%) of adults and (92%) of doctors
associate prescription painkillers with opioid dependence, whereas over half
of adults (55%) and over two-in-three doctors (69%) associate heroin with
opioid dependence. For many adults (75%) "dependence" is synonymous with
"addiction," while for more than half of doctors (57%) it is not.

The general public and healthcare community can learn more about opioid
dependence, obtain tools to help manage doctor visit conversations, and "find
a doctor" in the local area who understands how to treat opioid dependence in
a private setting by visiting www.turntohelp.com.

Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, in addition to nine other public and
private organizations, also have provided unrestricted funding to the American
Society of Addiction Medicine to research public and private payer policies
for opioid dependence pharmacotherapies as well as the clinical and cost
effectiveness of these medications. The results of this research will be
announced later this month.

About Opioid Dependence
Often stigmatized as bad behavior, poor judgement and weak morals on the part
of the patient, opioid dependence is a chronic, relapsing disease caused in
part by pervasive changes in the brain's chemistry that can result from
regular use of opioids, such as oxycodone, morphine and heroin. These
long-lasting changes can interfere with normal brain functioning, fooling the
brain into thinking the opioid is necessary for survival, and resulting in
drug-seeking behavior and dependency. As with other chronic diseases, opioid
dependence can be successfully treated, but not cured; treatment options can
include a combination of medication and behavioral changes.

+Survey Methodology
The survey of 1,002 U.S. adults age 26 to 49 ("adults") was conducted online
by Harris Interactive on behalf of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals between
January 2 and 7, 2013. The survey of 200 primary care, family practice and
internal medicine physicians practicing in the United States, who at the time
of the study, were not certified under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA)
2000 to treat opioid dependence as part of their practice ("doctors") was
conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Reckitt Benckiser
Pharmaceuticals between March 13 and 22, 2013, were surveyed. To ensure the
survey results were nationally representative, data for the general population
were weighted on income, education, ethnicity, region, age within gender and
propensity to be online, while the doctors' data were weighted on years in
practice by gender.

About Turn To Help®
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals created the Turn To Help® initiative to
increase public awareness of opioid dependence and to provide much needed
resources to people living with this chronic disease. The centerpiece of the
initiative is www.TurnToHelp.com, an educational website created to help
inform the public what opioids are, how they affect the brain, risk factors
for developing the disease and how dependence can begin. Included is a brief,
10-question screening test to assess risk of opioid dependence. Additionally,
a doctor locator tool to help people find a local doctor who treats and
understands opioid dependence is available on the website.

About Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company
committed to expanding education and access to medical therapies for patients
suffering from the chronic, relapsing brain disease of opioid dependence. The
company manufactures and markets medications that, in conjunction with
counseling and psychosocial support, treat opioid dependence. Reckitt
Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Reckitt
Benckiser Group plc, a global company publicly traded on the UK stock

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms,
leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant
insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for
pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary
solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and
reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and
communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of
industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy,
telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant,
and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of
multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing
our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries
and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris
specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients –
stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit


^1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. September 23,
http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k10/230b/230bPainRelvr2k10Web.pdf. Accessed June 4,

* Primary care, internal medicine and family medicine physicians who were not
Drug Addiction Treatment Act(DATA) 2000 certified.

+ More than 1,000 adults ages 26-49 ("adults") were surveyed between January
2-7, 2013 and 200 non-DATA 2000 certified primary care doctors ("doctors")
were surveyed between March 13-22, 2013.

++ Small base (n<100). Results are directional.

SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Contact: Alana Rockland, Biosector 2, 1-212-845-5651, ARockland@Biosector2.com
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