Medicine plays a vital role in safeguarding public health throughout the world. Pharmaceutical companies develop medicines to treat and cure sickness and disease. However, despite these noble intentions, occasionally substances created for a specific therapeutic purpose become dangerous. Heroin, for example, was introduced in 1898 as a therapeutic drug but was later determined to be highly addictive, leading to significant abuse. Since then, numerous pharmaceuticals products developed for specific therapeutic uses have been proven to be moderately to highly addictive, resulting in overdoses and deaths.
In 2018, there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths from scheduled or controlled substances in the U.S. alone.1 Worldwide, in 2017 there were 585,000 deaths from the use of controlled substances. North America continues to experience the highest drug-related mortality rate in the world from the abuse of scheduled or controlled substances.2 As such, federal and state governments have passed numerous laws to control and manage the prescription, use, storage, handling and disposal of such controlled substances.
The global controlled substance market was valued $64 Billion in 2018, and is projected to reach a value of $115 Billion by 2027.3 It is a highly lucrative industry and includes a large number of entities that manufacture the active pharmaceutical ingredients and/or the final product, warehouse and distribute the product, as well as those that administer and ultimately dispose of the product.