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KANSAS LT. GOVERNOR JEFF COLYER DISCUSSES FIGHTING OPIOID EPIDEMIC WHILE BALANCING PATIENT CARE

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 — Topeka-Kansas Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., along with other leading physicians, discussed options for managing chronic pain for patients while also ensuring these prescription medicines do not end up being sold on the street. The meeting took place today at the Cordant Health Solutions'(tm) pharmacy in Johnson County, Kan.

The Lt. Governor, a practicing physician, understands the balance needed for appropriate pain treatment. He has made it a priority to hear from those on the front lines of pain treatment to discuss what can be done to help pain sufferers have access to needed prescription medications while minimizing risks that could contribute to the nation’s opioid overdose epidemic.

“One hundred million Americans suffer from chronic pain, while opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths in the United States in 2014,” Colyer said. “Of those deaths, 332 happened in Kansas, which is 332 too many. It is critically important for patients to have access to their physician-prescribed medications, but it is also important to responsibly control the access to these medications to make sure they stay in the right hands.”

Colyer observed the operations of Cordant’s pharmacy service and spoke with Cordant’s CEO and local physicians. Cordant’s pharmacy specializes in dispensing Schedule II-V prescribed medications using a program created by a Drug Enforcement Administration veteran. The program, which controls the prescription from the time the physician writes it to the time it is filled and delivered to the patient, eliminates the risk of the prescription being altered or tampered. Pharmacists also check the patient’s drug test results and K-TRACS (Kansas’ prescription drug monitoring program) to see if other doctors are prescribing similar medications before prescriptions are filled.

“We enjoyed the Lieutenant Governor’s visit to our pharmacy. We are working to ensure access to medications for patients and protection for the clinicians,” said Sue Sommer, president and CEO of Cordant Health Solutions. “It takes community involvement from political leaders, physicians and businesses to reduce the prescription drug abuse epidemic we are experiencing in our country.”

In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines around the prescribing of opioids for chronic pain. These guidelines were received with mixed reviews and many states are looking at best practices to support their physicians and patients and provide appropriate guidance.

“This is an important health issue for Kansas and the nation,” Colyer said. “These discussions will help us understand new options available in the pharmaceutical industry and how we can make a difference for our communities in battling this opioid overdose epidemic.”

For further information about Cordant, visit cordantsolutions.com

Media contact:
Tiffany Tuetken
Director of Marketing
Cordant Health Solutions
info@cordanths.com
303-570-4585