What can we do about opioid abuse?

None of us can deny the important contribution to quality of life that pain medicines provide for millions of Americans living with acute or chronic pain. Unfortunately, the abuse, addiction and overdose of opioids have become a public health issue in the United States.

Prime’s thought leadership on this issue is making contributions on the national stage.

Last fall, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a report: The Prescription Opioid Epidemic: An Evidence-Based Approach. Prime’s director of health outcomes, Pat Gleason, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, collaborated with a diverse group of experts to author this report. Dr. Gleason was lead author on a chapter featuring specific recommendations for how pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) can help address the opioid epidemic.

Prime is part of the Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines. Prime works with this nonprofit group of key stakeholders in the prescription drug supply chain to develop policy solutions that address prescription drug abuse.

Bringing solutions home

Blue Cross and Prime products deliver safety to your employees and and savings to you..

  • Utilization management (UM) — Prime’s UM programs help employees get safe, clinically effective and cost-effective medicines. Programs such as quantity limits and prior authorization help make sure that employees who need prescription pain drugs have access to them, while avoiding the potential for overuse or misuse.
  • Concurrent drug utilization review (DUR) — Our concurrent DUR program screens prescriptions at the point of sale. If a potential drug therapy problem is found, a message is displayed for the pharmacist to address the potential conflict before the employee receives the medicine.
  • PrimeMail®— PrimeMail provides the convenience of nationwide home delivery for members prescribed maintenance medicines. At PrimeMail, controlled substance prescriptions go through rigorous review, including comprehensive drug utilization review and reviews from designated, specially trained pharmacists.
  • GuidedHealth®— Using pharmacy and medical (when available) data, our award-winning GuidedHealth program identifies drug therapy opportunities and engages doctors to improve member care and lower costs. Specific programs identify members who may be abusing or misusing controlled substances. 

For more information about programs that prevent drug abuse, contact your representative.

  1. “Drug overdose deaths reach all-time high.” By Nadia Kounang. December 18, 2015. Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Accessed at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/18/health/drug-overdose-deaths-2014/
  2. CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. March 16, 2016. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Accessed at: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/prescribing/guideline.htm
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