Aetna DocFind Directory Now Highlights Providers Offering Opioid Alternatives, Including EXPAREL

PARSIPPANY, N.J., June 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced further collaboration with Aetna, one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies. Aetna has updated its online provider directory, DocFind, to help members easily identify surgeons who are committed to offering opioid alternatives, including EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension), to manage postsurgical pain. This initiative builds off a national program launched by Pacira, Aetna, and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) in September 2017 aimed at reducing the number of opioid tablets prescribed to Aetna patients undergoing impacted wisdom tooth extractions through the use of EXPAREL.

Visitors can now search the DocFind database to find clinicians who employ low- or no-opioid pain management techniques across a range of specialties including, but not limited to: oral, orthopedic, general, and reconstructive surgery. Additional patient information about EXPAREL will be placed next to listings of clinicians who are trained to use the product.

“Aetna continues to demonstrate their leadership with respect to reducing needless opioid exposure for patients,” said Dave Stack, chairman and chief executive officer of Pacira. “We are pleased to work alongside them to improve patient care by increasing access to non-opioid options that can reduce or eliminate the need for opioids after surgery.”

Analysis of national hospital prescribing trends continues to illustrate the magnitude of opioid overprescribing occurring in the surgical setting. Approximately 90 percent of surgical patients were exposed to opioids in 2016, and those given prescriptions received an average of 85 pills each, whether they needed them or not. This resulted in 3.3 billion unused pills in one year alone, making them available for potential diversion or misuse.1

The new enhancement to DocFind supports Aetna’s comprehensive strategy to fight the opioid epidemic and aims to empower members to make well-informed decisions around postsurgical pain management. In June 2017, the company announced a series of goals to reduce inappropriate opioid prescribing, increase non-opioid pain treatment options and promote evidence-based recovery for members struggling with addiction. Aetna has reported a14 percent decrease in overall opioid prescribing, as well as over a 50 percent increase in the percentage of members with chronic pain treated without opioids. This is believed to be a combination of both broader U.S. trends in opioid prescribing and the effect of Aetna’s various initiatives to reduce opioid misuse and abuse. Aetna’s multi-pronged approach includes several integrated pharmacy, behavioral health and medical programs, as well as coverage of a variety of non-opioid pain modalities, including non-opioid analgesics, physical therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture.

  1. Pacira. United States for Non-Dependence: An Analysis of the Impact of Opioid Overprescribing in America. September 2017. [Analysis in the report was based on research conducted by the Quintiles IMS Institute].

About Pacira
Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCRX) is a specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to advancing and improving postsurgical outcomes for acute care practitioners and their patients. The company’s flagship product, EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension), is redefining pain management after surgery as an opioid-free alternative indicated for single-dose infiltration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia. EXPAREL utilizes DepoFoam®, a unique and proprietary product delivery technology that encapsulates drugs without altering their molecular structure, and releases them over a desired period of time. To learn more about Pacira, including the corporate mission to reduce overreliance on opioids, visit www.pacira.com.

EXPAREL (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension) is indicated for single-dose infiltration in adults to produce postsurgical local analgesia and as an interscalene brachial plexus nerve block to produce postsurgical regional analgesia. The product combines bupivacaine with DepoFoam®, a proven product delivery technology that delivers medication over a desired time period. EXPAREL represents the first and only multivesicular liposome local anesthetic that can be utilized in the peri- or postsurgical setting. By utilizing the DepoFoam platform, a single dose of EXPAREL delivers bupivacaine over time, providing significant reductions in cumulative pain scores with up to a 78 percent decrease in opioid consumption; the clinical benefit of the opioid reduction was not demonstrated. Additional information is available at www.EXPAREL.com.

Important Safety Information
EXPAREL is contraindicated in obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia. Adverse reactions reported with an incidence greater than or equal to 10% following EXPAREL administration via infiltration were nausea, constipation, and vomiting; adverse reactions reported with an incidence greater than or equal to 10% following EXPAREL administration via interscalene brachial plexus nerve block were nausea, pyrexia, and constipation. If EXPAREL and other non-bupivacaine local anesthetics, including lidocaine, are administered at the same site, there may be an immediate release of bupivacaine from EXPAREL. Therefore, EXPAREL may be administered to the same site 20 minutes after injecting lidocaine. EXPAREL is not recommended to be used in the following patient population: patients <18 years old  and/or pregnant patients. Because amide-type local anesthetics, such as bupivacaine, are metabolized by the liver, EXPAREL should be used cautiously in patients with hepatic disease.

Investor Contact:
Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Susan Mesco
(973) 451-4030

Media Contact:
Coyne Public Relations
Alyssa Schneider
(973) 588-2270

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