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Avoiding opioids just got easier: Aetna, Pacira partner to help patients find alternatives

Aetna's online provider directory now allows members to search for surgeons who use low- or no-opioid pain management techniques.

Here are five insights:

1. Using the online provider directory, DocFind, patients can search for physicians providing opioid alternatives such as Exparel, Pacira Pharmaceuticals' flagship product.

2. Additional information about Exparel will be shown beside listings of physicians trained to administer the product.

3. Exparel is a single-dose alternative to opioids. It uses DepoFoam, a proprietary product delivery technology that releases drugs over a desired period of time without altering their molecular structure.

4. Patients can search for providers within a range of specialties, including oral, orthopedic, general and reconstructive surgery.

4. In September 2017, Pacira, Aetna and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons launched an opioid-reduction initiative. They used Exparel to reduce the number of opioids prescribed to Aetna members undergoing wisdom tooth procedures.

5. Since rolling out additional opioid reduction initiatives in June 2017, Aetna has reported a 14 percent reduction in overall opioid prescribing. The number of members with chronic pain treated without opioids has increased more than 50 percent.

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