The cost of all substance abuse in the U.S. is $510 billion. Although alcoholism is significantly under-diagnosed and under-treated, the costs of alcohol abuse alone – both direct and indirect – were estimated to be $185 billion in 1998.
Of the $185 billion, the cost of treatment and prevention is about $7.5 billion. The bulk of this amount is spent on psychotherapy, emergency room visits, rehabilitation, and hospitalizations—not on medications to treat alcohol abuse or dependence. In fact, only about 1% of the overall cost ($86 million) was spent on prescriptions to treat alcohol addiction in 2006.
The Market for ADial’s Product
Today there are 14 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder – roughly the same size as the depression market 20 years ago, prior to the launch of Prozac.
With staggering costs associated with alcoholism, substance abuse, and addiction, society is ready for ADial’s pharmaceutical solution. So why have current prescription therapies fallen short?
The reasons are many. Primary treatment consists of behavioral therapy, based on the false perception that Alcohol Use Disorder is a behavioral problem, not a medical problem. This type of therapy is expensive; limited to psychiatrists and psychologists; and has a 70-90% relapse rate. The few drugs that are available are typically administered by addiction specialists, not by General or Family physicians. While this could create an issue because there are only 3,000 of these specialists for 14 million alcohol abusing patients, prescribing medication to treat alcoholism hasn’t been common practice because drawbacks of current drugs outweigh the benefits. Specifically, patients have to be abstinent prior to use, which defeats the intent of using medication to help someone decrease their alcohol intake. Clearly there’s a need for safe and effective therapies that can fill this medication void. AD04 does not require patients to be abstinent before use and its efficacy, based on the results of the Phase II trial, appears significant for the targeted genotypes.