Thursday, March 6, 2014

Rx Summit Focuses on National Collaboration

By Dan Smoot | March 5, 2014 | Leave a comment | Filed in Advocacy, Community Related, Healthcare & Prescription Drugs

Statistics continue to paint a stark reminder about the devastating impact of prescription (Rx) drug abuse and diversion.

Hydrocodone and other opioid analgesics were involved in about three of every four pharmaceutical overdose deaths in 2010, according to a February 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the Trust For America’s Health, every day in the United States, 50 people die from an overdose of prescription drugs.

This is unacceptable.

Two years ago, Operation UNITE recognized that many good, successful initiatives were being implemented across the United States, but there was a lack of coordination, some duplication of efforts and many folks just not knowing where to turn to try and impact the problem.

So, in 2012, we launched the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit to spark a conversation among this country’s top legislators, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, treatment providers, law enforcement personnel, insurance payers, researchers and community advocates. We were overwhelmed with the response. Last year nearly 900 individuals from 49 states, the District of Columbia and two other countries shared their latest findings and strategies to bring solutions to the Rx drug abuse epidemic.

We have witnessed substance abuse problems spread from community to community, seemingly unabated. The Rx Summit is helping to meet challenges head-on through an unprecedented collaboration. We’re still far from declaring victory, but multi-disciplinary discussions are yielding results at all levels.

I am proud to be a part of the effort to help guide this national discussion. You, too, can let your voice be heard by participating in the third annual National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, to be held April 22-24, 2014, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Once again our National Advisory Board has assembled an exceptional line up featuring more than 100 presenters, and we will be offering an opportunity to receive approximately 20 continuing education credits for your time.

How impactful is the Rx Drug Abuse in addressing this issue?

It’s so important that five of our nation’s top leaders will provide keynote addresses: Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Michael Botticelli, deputy director for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); and Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, Matthew Perry, an Emmy-nominated actor and recovering addict, will drive home the point that substance abuse can happen to anyone, and that it is possible to overcome the disease of addiction.

Other highlights of the 2014 Summit include:

• Thirty-five breakout sessions grouped into educational tracks – Third-Party Payer, Education & Advocacy, Treatment, Pharmacy, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), Clinical, and Law Enforcement. These sessions, led by frontline professionals, are tailored to provide you, the stakeholders, timely and relevant information and equip your organizations with the data, evidence and programs they need to maximize resources.

• Three special panel discussions featuring: 1) members of the bi-partisan U.S. House Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, 2) state governors and 3) state attorneys general. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn what is being done at the state and federal levels – and how you can impact legislative changes.

• Eleven vision sessions offering in-depth examination of innovative programs and strategies from organizations and businesses deeply involved in the fight against Rx abuse and diversion. You will learn firsthand what is being done NOW and what tools can be brought to bear in your efforts.

Where else can you find so many thought leaders gathered together to share their insights – and listen to YOUR perspective?

Let your voice be heard. Join the more than 1,000 expected Summit attendees sharing timely data about the prescription drug abuse crisis as we formulate impactful solutions at the local, state and national levels. Together we can make a lasting impact.

For information about the Summit visit, or follow news about the event at,, or Questions may be directed to Cheryl Keaton at 606-657-3218606-657-3218 or

Dan Smoot
Operation Unite

No comments:

Post a Comment