The opioid epidemic is a complicated, multi-faceted public health crisis that cannot be solved by any one participant or idea. It needs to be addressed through a partnership approach that deploys the best thinking across the country. Below are some of the ways that we are working with others to advance unique solutions to help address the opioid crisis.

Creating a Prescription Safety-Alert System

Using a model conceived by the not-for-profit National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, (NCPDP), we are working to create a prescription safety-alert system. This nationwide clinical alert system would use data analytics to identify patients at risk for opioid overuse, abuse, addiction or misuse. The safety-alert system would employ clinical algorithms to identify prescription patterns that may indicate abuse/misuse. Pharmacies would receive real-time alerts indicating that the pharmacist should gather additional patient information before dispensing. We are helping to lead the Patient Safety Network Alliance, a coalition of technology companies, provider organizations, payers and the pharmacy community, that are advocating for the creation of the system.

Helping Prevent Substance Abuse Among Veterans

As part of our long-standing commitment to supporting veterans, we are working with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) to launch a substance abuse prevention pilot program tailored specifically to veterans. Five community coalitions from CADCA's National Coalition Academy are creating and implementing action plans based on the specific demographics of their local veteran population. We have provided funds to CADCA to create programs, services and tools that are specific to the unique needs of veterans struggling with addiction.

Helping Reduce Opioid Prescribing Through Improved Physician Education

We are partnering with a national health education leader on a pilot program to promote evidence-based medicine, combined with clinical training, as a way to reduce opioid diversion, misuse, addiction, and overdose. Our partner is a leader in developing and implementing academic detailing programs and training health care professionals to improve prescribing. The partnership will provide training to physicians on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clinical guidelines for opioid prescribing and to measure the effect of the training on opioid prescribing patterns. We are matching the financial commitment of a partner state.

Distributing Drug Deactivation Pouches in Pennsylvania

We joined the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office to help combat opioid abuse by delivering drug deactivation pouches to local communities. Our sales and account management teams worked with pharmacies in the 12 counties to encourage participation. The company leveraged our local distribution centers and transportation network to deliver 300,000 pouches to participating pharmacies.

Building Awareness Through Public Education

As part of our membership in the pharmaceutical distributors' trade association, Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), we are supporting the development of an opioid education and awareness campaign.

Educating Our Customers

We are proactively educating customers about the importance of complying with DEA and state agency regulations and identifying warning signs of prescription abuse and diversion. We provide our customers with literature on how to identify the warning signs of prescription opioid abuse and diversion. We also conduct informational meetings for customer groups and make presentations at medical annual trade shows and pharmacy association meetings to emphasize the importance of preventing diversion.