Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Aetna & American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons partner to reduce opioid exposure: 4 key points

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Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Aetna and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons partnered to create a program designed to reduce the number of opioid tablets prescribed to patients undergoing wisdom tooth extractions.

Here are four key points:

1. The program hopes to reduce opioid prescriptions by 50 percent by utilizing Exparel, a bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension, to provide prolonged nonopioid postsurgical pain control.

2. Aetna will reimburse surgeons enrolled in the program for their use of Exparel once the surgeons have completed training in the product.

3. According to a JAMA Surgery study, more than 66 percent of postsurgical patients report unused prescription opioids and the majority indicated the medications were neither safely stored nor disposed.

4. Aetna and Pacira Pharmaceuticals hope to expand the use of Exparel in similar programs across other surgical procedures as appropriate.

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