Cigna Furthers its Commitment to Help Curb the National Opioid Epidemic
New campaign advances the concept of a “pain plan” to encourage conversations among patients and health care providers about the safe use of opioids and other pain management options
BLOOMFIELD, Conn. – May 16, 2018 – Global health service company Cigna (NYSE: CI) is furthering its commitment to curbing the national opioid epidemic by launching a new online campaign featuring easy to use tools to inform Americans and their loved ones about the safe use of opioids for pain management.
Cigna's focus is on preventing the risk of opioid misuse, even before a prescription is written. The new campaign advances the concept of a “pain plan,” which is intended to help people partner with their health care providers to better understand available treatments, including behavioral, pharmaceutical and medical options, provide guidance for the safe and appropriate use of opioids, and set goals for pain relief.
An estimated 2.5 million people suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in the United States1. Additionally, one in five people are at increased risk of long-term use with just a 10-day prescription2. A proprietary study from Cigna found that while 80 percent of respondents agree that “anyone could become addicted to opioids, even someone like me,” the majority are unaware or disagree that “opioids are not safe to take for more than one week without an increased risk of addiction”3. To help encourage informed conversations, people can text “Help with Pain” to 25792 to receive a list of questions they can ask their health care provider, along with a link to other helpful resources. Cigna has also developed a tool enabling people to determine if a prescription is an opioid or not by entering the name of the medicine on the Help with Pain website.
“Both acute and chronic pain can be debilitating, and we understand the real challenges people face when trying to cope with their pain,” said Douglas Nemecek, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health at Cigna. “We want to help people better understand pain, how it manifests, and ultimately, how to manage it safely and effectively, immediately and over time. The best place to begin is to have an informed conversation with your health care provider and develop a highly personalized pain plan together.”
To resonate with Americans in a meaningful way, Cigna has partnered with a group of influencers, representing well-known athletes, chefs and bloggers. This includes Kansas City Chiefs football player Travis Kelce, award-winning celebrity chef and author of Rocco’s Healthy + Delicious, Rocco DiSpirito and Pinteresting Plans blogger Rachel Moore, among others. Each will share why they are aligning with this campaign, with the goal of raising awareness about opioid addiction and introduce simple, preventive solutions.
“At Cigna, we focus on preventive care and keeping people healthy,” said Stephen Cassell, Vice President, Global Branding at Cigna. “That’s why it’s important to help people take control of their health by educating them about pain management and encouraging them to talk with their care provider to create a pain plan. We’ve made this process easy and simple. When people send us a text message, we’ll respond with the key questions to ask their care provider when discussing their pain management.”
This campaign comes on the heels of Cigna's recent announcement that in partnership with more than 1.1 million prescribing clinicians, the company has achieved a 25 percent reduction in opioid use among its customers, reaching this key metric one year ahead of its goal.
Cigna’s new pain resource website provides tools for individuals, care providers and employers to help prevent opioid misuse through education. The website will better equip people to have informed conversations with care providers about chronic and acute pain, and the risks and benefits associated with opioid prescriptions.
To learn why you need to make a pain plan with your care provider and if your prescription is an opioid, please visit cigna.com/helpwithpain. For more information on Cigna’s efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, please visit https://www.cigna.com/about-us/healthcare-leadership/away-from-blame.
Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in over 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has more than 95 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit https://www.cigna.com. For more information about Cigna's proposed acquisition of Express Scripts, please visit http://www.makinghealthcaresimple.com.
- McLellan AT. Substance Misuse and Substance use Disorders: Why do they Matter in Healthcare? Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association. 2017;128:112-130. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5525418/
- Shah A, Hayes CJ, Martin BC. Characteristics of Initial Prescription Episodes and Likelihood of Long-Term Opioid Use — United States, 2006–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:265–269. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6610a1.
- Omnibus Survey, Cigna, 11/3/17-11/6/17.