AmerisourceBergen action plan targets opioid abuse

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VALLEY FORGE, Pa. — AmerisourceBergen has ramped up its efforts to thwart opioid diversion and abuse.

The pharmaceutical distributor on Thursday announced ongoing operational commitments to prevent opioid abuse and abuse in line with its initiatives to protect the supply chain.

AmerisourceBergen said it will continue to use and enhance a sophisticated set of algorithms and data analytics tools that evaluate the orders of individual customers against a comparison peer group to identify and stop shipment on suspicious orders.

Steven Collis_AmerisourceBergen

Steven Collis

At the same time, the company will uphold its multimillion-dollar investment in a top-flight diversion control team of internal and external experts, who include former law enforcement professionals, diversion investigators, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The team maintains an order monitoring program, conducts customer site visits, takes part in surveillance activities, reviews customer policies, and flags and reports suspicious orders.

AmerisourceBergen, too, has pledged to support its current practice of taking no action to market or create demand for opioid-based medicines. That includes no incentive-based compensation or bonuses connected with the sale of opioid products.

“The commitments and initiatives announced today reflect our belief that all companies in health care should be constantly looking at ways to innovate, collaborate and enhance existing practices in order to best combat the opioid issue,” chairman, president and chief executive officer Steven Collis said in a statement. “Alongside our recent legislative recommendations aimed at supporting regulator and industry data transparency, these reflect our dedication to doing our part to combat diversion and misuse of opioid products.”

AmerisourceBergen added that it’s also investing in a new initiative to identify and activate partnerships with customers to offer solutions to address opioid abuse. For example, in October, the company unveiled a collaboration with Walgreens and other health care industry players to expand the availability of safe medication disposal kiosks to another 900 Walgreens drug stores near military bases and areas where the opioid epidemic has heavily impacted communities.

The distributor noted that, since 2007, it has reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and stopped shipment of tens of thousands of suspicious orders and provided daily reports of all opioid-based medication orders to the DEA, including the quantity, type and receiving pharmacy of each order shipped.



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