AAOA Expands Coalition by Adding National and Local Partners

ARLINGTON, Va., October 30, 2018 — Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA), a national coalition working to convene leaders across public health and healthcare and increase awareness around the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids, announced today the addition of four national and 11 state and local partners. The newly announced partners join AAOA’s founding member, the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, and more than 40 other national, state and local partners that are engaging and educating patients, providers, pharmacists and the public nationwide about preventing prescription opioid misuse and abuse.

Founded in February 2018, AAOA and its partners are raising awareness about proactive steps that can be taken to prevent prescription opioid abuse and misuse, including the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription opioids. To help address the significant gap in patient education related to prescription opioids across the country, AAOA is working to foster communication among key audiences, provide educational resources and discuss new solutions to addressing this national crisis.

“Everyone has a role to play in preventing the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids in our country,” said John Parker, Senior Vice President of Communications for the Healthcare Distribution Alliance. “With the addition of AAOA”s new partners, we have the opportunity to combine our voices and expand our reach to ensure more patients, their family members and friends, as well as professionals in the healthcare and business industries understand the importance of safely using, storing and disposing of prescription opioids.”

Last month, AAOA and its pharmacy partners, including the state pharmacy associations in Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, released a toolkit to help assist pharmacists and pharmacy staff members as they engage with patients about the rights, risks and responsibilities related to prescription opioid use. To help patients prepare for and manage post-surgical pain, AAOA worked in partnership with a team of physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital to create an educational video, “Managing Pain After Surgery: What You Need to Know,” underscoring that pain is a normal part of the healing process.

“The misuse and abuse of prescription opioids can have devastating effects on aging patients and their families,” said Patricia M. D’Antonio, BSPharm, MS, MBA, BCGP, Vice President Professional Affairs with The Gerontological Society of America. “Taking time to talk with older adults about the risks associated with these pain medicines can make a lasting impact and help reduce instances of unnecessary consumption or harm.”

“As the prescription opioid abuse epidemic continues to take its toll on families across America, it is important to recognize the growing trend of misuse and abuse of these pain medicines among the workforce — especially among working-age men,” said Ana Tomšić, Vice President with the Men’s Health Network. “By joining AAOA and its partners, we can bring additional resources to our community to ensure that men and their families understand the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioid use and know where to turn if these medicines are not being used as intended.”

“There is an urgent need to raise awareness about prescription opioid misuse and abuse, especially among older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers,” said Martha Roherty, Executive Director of the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities. “We look forward to continued engagement with AAOA and other stakeholders to advance collaborative efforts to help aging patients and individuals with disabilities makeinformed and responsible decisions about their pain treatments.”

“Putting in place solutions to help combat the prescription opioid epidemic requires coordination from all members of the healthcare community — from healthcare providers and pharmacists to patients and caregivers,” said Cheri Lattimer, Executive Director of the National Transitions of Care Coalition. “By partnering with AAOA, we can increase awareness and provide our community and advocates with resources about non-opioid pain treatments as well as steps that can be taken to prevent the misuse of opioid medications when they are prescribed.”

A list of AAOA’s newly announced partners is included below:

National Partners

  • Gerontological Society of America
  • Men’s Health Network
  • National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities
  • National Transitions of Care Coalition

Community Partners

  • Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland
  • Connect Healthcare Collaboration
  • Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee
  • FiftyForward
  • Hamilton County Coalition
  • Mental Health America of the Middle Tennessee
  • Ohio Council for Home Care & Hospice
  • Partners in Prevention
  • Simsbury Chamber of Commerce
  • Tennessee Council for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (CADAS)
  • You Have the Power

For all press inquiries, please contact Press@AgainstOpioidAbuse.org.

About Allied Against Opioid Abuse
Allied Against Opioid Abuse is a national education and awareness initiative to help prevent abuse and misuse of prescription opioids. Founded by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, the initiative is a collaborative effort with diverse partners across the pharmaceutical supply chain, as well as organizations that are experts in public health and healthcare, including Alliance for Aging Research, American Physical Therapy Association, BeMedWise, Caregiver Action Network, Gerontological Society of America, Healthcare Leadership Council, Men’s Health Network, Mental Health America, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, National Community Pharmacists Association, National Transitions of Care Coalition and the PA Foundation. Our goal is to contribute to solving the opioid crisis in a meaningful way by educating patients about their rights, risks and responsibilities. To learn more, visit www.AgainstOpioidAbuse.orgor follow us on Twitter: @AAOA_Tweets.