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.
Public and private insurance plans use patient review and restriction (PRR) programs to encourage the safe use of opioids and other controlled substances. Through PRRs, insurers assign patients who are at risk for substance use disorder (SUD) to predesignated pharmacies and prescribers to obtain these drugs. Read More
Authorities today released Prince’s autopsy results, confirming that the renowned singer died from a prescription opioid overdose. Tragically, his cause of death is not rare: On April 21, Prince was just one of an estimated 52 Americans who lost their lives to an overdose of prescription pain relievers. Read More
On May 31, The Pew Charitable Trusts submitted a letter to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), urging the agency to increase the cap for qualifying buprenorphine prescribers from 100 to 500 patients in order to expand access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Read More