JMC is Ready to Help Combat the Opioid Epidemic

By September 13, 2018 In our experience, Partnering Up

NILA’s Opioid Call to Action

North America is racing to get ahead of a health crisis of epic proportions. This epidemic is having such a large impact in the US that life expectancy has decreased for at least two years in a row, and probably for a third. This hasn’t happened in the land of the free for 100 years, or since the 1918 flu pandemic. The so-called Spanish flu is estimated to have killed 5% of the world’s population. What is our current health crisis? In a word, opioids.
Flu remains a threat to morbidity and mortality worldwide, and we strive to collect and analyze high quality and complete data in the fight. JMC contributes to this effort by developing laboratory informatics tools to capture, share and standardize flu testing data.
To get ahead of the opioid crisis many are now looking to similar approaches. The National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA) has issued a call to action  (https://www.nila-usa.org/images/Opioid%20TF%20White%20Paper%20FINAL2.pdf) to increase the amount of high quality, high complexity laboratory testing data at the national level that can be used to develop effective control strategies. We at JMC support this action, and are actively engaged in the conversation about the role of clinical laboratory test data in combating the opioid crisis.
Like influenza, the threat of addictive substances is a challenge to the health and well-being of the world that will not soon be leaving us. But like flu, is a problem that we can get ahead of and put systems in place to detect signals prior to reaching epidemic proportion through the use informatics, including laboratory data standardization and data sharing. Let the work continue, we are ready!