Yankees legend Mariano Rivera backs opioid alternative

A new medical device, backed by former MLB all-star pitcher Mariano Rivera, treats chronic pain with a low-level, low-frequency ultrasound and purports to be a drug-free solution to combating the opioid crisis.

“If I would have had this product when I was playing baseball, I might have played another three, four years,” Rivera told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo during an interview on Wednesday.

River, a 13-time All Star and five-time World Series champion who played for the Yankees until 2013, paired up with NanoVibronix CEO Brian Murphy to promote the PainShield, the wearable device that’s supposed to resolve the cause of nerve and soft tissue pain -- rather than masking it -- by transmitting a slow-release ultrasound.

The New York-based company, recently listed on Nasdaq, sells the PainShield for $595.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NAOV NANOVIBRONIX 0.75 -0.01 -0.99%

Rivera became involved with the company when his wife began suffering from a back problem, he said, and when she tried the device, her symptoms began to improve. Since then, he’s pitched it to President Trump as a new method to fighting opioid addiction in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid-involved deaths have continued to increase in the U.S., with 66% of overdose deaths involving opioids. In 2016, the opioid-related overdoses had increased five-fold from 1999, and in between 2000 and 2016, more than 600,000 people died. On average, 115 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses.

Trump proposed a crackdown on pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers -- including the possibility of the death penalty for drug traffickers -- in order to combat addiction in the country.

“We’re fighting opioids, but we don’t know what we’re going to do after that,” Rivera said. “The best thing is using our product, [which] is safe and handy. We have to move toward alternatives.”