The cost of treating a drug addiction that has resulted in death and serious injury can exceed $100 million, according to a study released Monday.
The study, by the National Institutes of Health, used data from more than 4,600 treatment-related deaths in the United States between 2000 and 2016.
It found that the average cost of a treatment was $24,300 per patient in 2015, up from $21,800 in 2007.
The average cost for the first month after treatment was nearly $1 million, up more than 50 percent from 2008.
While the average price per patient was significantly lower in 2016, the study’s authors say that the trend will continue, as new drugs are developed and a more effective treatment is developed.
“The cost of the treatment itself will go up over time,” said Dr. Anthony P. Fauci, the lead author and a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Harvard Medical School.
The median cost of treatment, $24.7 million, was $8.6 million more than in the previous year.
The median price per person in the study was $14,600, up 4.5 percent from 2015.
“This study demonstrates that the cost of prescription drugs is higher than ever before, and it is not a matter of if, but when,” Fauco said.
The cost, he said, is not just an expense for taxpayers, but an investment in the future of American medicine.
The drug industry has been criticized for its high prices, particularly when it comes to pain medications.