How Leidos partnered with Express Scripts to reduce risks for opioid addiction among employees
For the past two years, Leidos has been engaged in a company-wide education and awareness initiative to help counter America’s opioid epidemic. As part of this initiative, Leidos Corporate Benefits enrolled in the Advanced Opioid Management (AOM) program offered by Express Scripts, to which about 48 percent of our 33,000 employees have prescription coverage through.
The AOM program aims to protect Leidos employees and their families from over-prescribing practices and implement safe, evidence-based prescribing practices for pain management recommended by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Our AOM program went into effect on July 1, 2018. Through the program, Leidos implemented "Enhanced Prior Authorization" on long-acting opioid prescriptions and a seven-day supply limit for short-acting opioids. The goal is to encourage medical plan members to use a minimal amount of opioids when dealing with severe pain by providing them with the appropriate information. When they are offered only a seven-day supply, they have the opportunity to refuse any refills of their prescription. In addition, all plan members new to opioid therapy receive an educational letter as well as a drug deactivation kit to allow the safe disposal of any unused medication.
To provide a means for safe disposal of opioid medications, the AOM provides opioid disposal bags to opioid-naïve individuals who may have excess opioid medications following their first fill. These bags are shipped directly to a member’s home, with instructions for the member to dispose of excess opioid medications in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.
After the first full year of the program at Leidos (July 1, 2018- June 30, 2019), we were able to decrease the amount of opioids dispensed, demonstrating a successful prevention effort for our employees and their families in a short period of time.
One of the biggest takeaways from the initial results was how many prescriptions were originally processed for greater than a seven day supply, and how effective AOM proved to be in reducing the dispensed amount per opioid prescription to seven days or less. In that same one-year timeframe, the AOM program sent out 2,702 member education letters, 704 disposal kits, and 403 opioid alerts to physicians.
Combatting the opioid epidemic is going to take a team effort. As a company, it is our responsibility to ensure we are doing everything within our power to keep all of our employees and their families safe and healthy.
*Prior Authorization is a feature of the Leidos prescription benefits that helps ensure the appropriate use of selected prescription drugs. Certain prescription drugs require a doctor to get approval before they’re covered. This process helps make sure members receive the right medicine in the correct dose, which is very important if they are taking a specialty drug.
**Opioid formulations have been classified as short- or long-acting on the basis of their duration of action. Long acting are formulated to release the drug more gradually into the bloodstream or have a long half-life for prolonged activity. Whereas short acting are considered appropriate for transient pain types, such as acute, breakthrough, or chronic intermittent pain.