Generation Rx Receives Connect and Collaborate Grant to Expand Opioid Misuse Prevention Services

Emily Keeler
01/27/2017

Columbus, OH – Generation Rx, a medication safety program, has been announced as a recipient of a Fall 2016 Connect and Collaborate Grant from The Ohio State University to support opioid misuse prevention initiatives.

Directors Kenneth M. Hale, RPh, PhD, and Nicole C. Kwiek, PhD, will lead efforts in a partnership with OSU Extension, the Kroger Company, and Cardinal Health that focus on combating the opioid epidemic, one of the state’s and country’s most pressing public health concerns.

“Prescription medications are among the most misused substances in the United States, resulting in myriad health, social, fiscal and legal consequences,” said Hale. “Drug overdose is our country's leading cause of accidental death, and Ohio now leads the nation in the number of these deaths. It is imperative that we address this issue from multiple perspectives in our communities.”

The grant will help fund a two-pronged approach. First, the Opioid Patient Education Program (OPEP) will engage Kroger pharmacists in patient education activities when opioid medications are dispensed. Secondly, OSU Extension will help to solicit input about what K-12 schools need to provide instruction around opioid topics.

“Given that Ohio now requires all K-12 schools to teach about opioids, we want to make sure that teachers and school administrators are well-supported in the planning and execution of this instruction,” said Kwiek. “At this project’s end, we will have a better understanding of educators’ needs, tools to address those needs, and a plan to disseminate these tools more broadly in the state and beyond.”

The program will kick off in Southeast Ohio to assess impact, plan for programmatic expansion, and establish a framework for addressing other medication safety issues moving forward. Ultimately, these relationships will take different forms to address the many medication-related issues that impact the drug-taking culture in which we live.

The project will run January 2017 through December 2018.

The Connect and Collaborate Grants Program is designed to bring together multiple, available university and community resources and leverage existing community platforms to develop programs that achieve measurable, positive impacts in communities while advancing the scholarly goals of the university.

The mission of Generation Rx is to educate people of all ages about the potential dangers of misusing prescription medications. Since 2009, the College of Pharmacy at The Ohio State University and the Cardinal Health Foundation have partnered to provide open source educational materials that anyone can use to help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs.