Allan Coukell is Pew’s senior director for health programs. He oversees initiatives related to drug and medical device innovation and safety, medical conflicts-of-interest, the pharmaceutical supply chain, pharmacy compounding, antibiotic resistance, prescription drug abuse, FDA, specialty drugs, food safety, school nutrition, as well as other efforts related to health costs and care delivery.
Prior to joining Pew, he practiced as a clinical pharmacist in oncology at the London Health Sciences Center and Ontario Regional Cancer Center, served as a senior medical writer and editor with the medical journal publisher Adis International, and covered health and science as a reporter and producer for WBUR (NPR) in Boston and Radio New Zealand. He is Vice Chair of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium and a board member of the Reagan Udall Foundation for the FDA. He served previously as consumer representative on the FDA’s Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee.
Every 16 minutes, a person in the United States dies from an opioid overdose.1 Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a chronic brain disease caused by the recurrent use of opioids, including prescription drugs such as oxycodone or hydrocodone and illicit substances such as heroin. Over time, a person with OUD becomes dependent on these drugs in higher and higher doses. This can lead to an overdose or... Read More
Opioid use disorder is a complex brain disease, but it is often still viewed as a moral failing. This stigma can keep people from accessing care for their disease, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which combines Food and Drug Administration-approved medications with behavioral therapies. Watch how MAT can help people manage their disease, a critical step in reducing the risk of... Read More
New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of deaths from opioid overdoses continues to rise, reaching more than 33,000 in 2015, the highest number ever recorded. Opioids, which include prescription drugs and illicitly manufactured heroin and fentanyl, accounted for more than 63 percent of all drug-related overdoses that year. Read More