Pills on a table

“Be Rx Safe” Campaign Created to Raise Awareness on Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse

DETROIT, May 23, 2018 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Michigan Osteopathic Association, the Michigan Opioid Prescribing Engagement Network and the Michigan State Medical Society teamed up to today announce the “Be Rx SAFE” opioid awareness campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and overuse and encourage prescribers and patients to do their part in addressing the opioid crisis.

“Be Rx SAFE” will focus on health care provider education, patient awareness and the promotion of safe use and disposal of prescription drugs. This statewide campaign will connect health care providers and patients with resources about prevention, treatment, and tools to take action and prevent overdoses and the misuse of opioid and prescription drugs in Michigan.

“There is no single entity that can solve the opioid epidemic,” said Daniel J. Loepp, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “We are all affected by it, and we all have a responsibility to act. By working together, we can have a larger collective impact to protect families and make Michigan healthier, while properly addressing the pain needs of patients.”

Michigan’s provider organizations will utilize a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to support the “Be Rx SAFE” campaign. The collaborative effort includes the development of provider education sessions related to opioid prescribing, pain management and the implementation of recently enacted laws to address the opioid epidemic. The collaborative effort also includes materials to be distributed by hospitals and health care providers to encourage dialogue, educate patients about the risks associated with prescription opioids, and promote the safe use and disposal of prescription drugs.

Educational resources included in the campaign:

The joint campaign is part of a continued commitment to work collaboratively to share resources and to communicate consistent messages about the treatment and prevention of opioid use disorder.

“Michigan hospitals are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and the Be Rx Safe campaign is another tool we can use to empower and educate our patients and healthcare providers as we battle substance use disorders,” said Brian Peters, CEO, Michigan Health & Hospital Association. “We appreciate the effort put forth by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to bring together physicians, hospitals, health systems and others in addressing the opioid crisis and the impact it’s having on families and communities.”

Michigan State Medical Society’s President Betty S. Chu, MD, MBA, who is a practicing OB-GYN and Chief Medical Officer at Henry Ford Bloomfield Hospital, said, “As I’ve cared for women and their children, before, during, and after childbirth, I’ve seen firsthand the devastation opioid addiction leaves in its wake.” She continued, “I’m proud that Michigan physicians are on the literal frontlines of a war against opioid abuse. While we’ve raised a lot of awareness about the crisis over the last few years — and even taken some big, important steps towards addressing it — it’s more important than ever we redouble our commitment to solutions that work.”

Michael Englesbe, M.D., Michigan OPEN co-director, said, “Michigan OPEN was founded with the intent of being part of the solution to reverse the trends of opioid consumption in Michigan.” He continued, “we are thrilled to join this collaborative effort and work together towards the goal of ending the opioid epidemic.”

“This coalition of healthcare organizations is in a perfect position to deliver education to providers and awareness to the public,” said Kris Nicholoff, executive director of the Michigan Osteopathic Association. “The opioid crisis has had a devastating impact throughout the state and this campaign is designed to reach communities and caregivers in every part of Michigan.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCBSM provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and MIBluesPerspectives.com.

Photo Credit: Jamie