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UnitedHealthcare Community Plan Donates Drug Disposal Kits to Local Community Groups to Help People Safely Dispose of Unused Opioids

John Jannarone
  • 2,000 opioid disposal kits will be distributed to Byrnes Health
    Education Center and the Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light Program

  • This donation is part of UnitedHealthcare’s ongoing effort to
    provide a safe and effective way to dispose of unused opioids

PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–UnitedHealthcare Community Plan is confronting the opioid epidemic by
donating 2,000 opioid disposal kits to the Byrnes Health Education
Center and the Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light Program.

The disposal kits offer people a convenient way to remove unused opioids
from their homes and prevent their misuse or diversion.

Over 60
percent of Americans
with leftover opioid medications keep them in
their homes, and 70 percent of people misusing opioid painkillers first
got them from family or friends. UnitedHealthcare Community Plan is
donating the opioid disposal kits to promote the safe disposal of
opioids and help prevent further deaths from these drugs. The kits were
made possible thanks to a partnership with Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.

Each opioid disposal kit deactivates up to 45 tablets or six opioid
patches through this easy process:

  1. Open the sealable pouch, which contains active carbon

  2. Add unused medications and warm water as directed to the pouch

  3. The carbon binds to the active drug ingredients and breaks the
    medication down

  4. Seal the pouch and safely discard in your household garbage

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Pennsylvania serves more than 270,000
people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP plan across the Commonwealth.
Promoting use of the kits is part of its continued efforts to confront
the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. Last year, UnitedHealthcare
Community Plan donated 10,000 opioid disposal kits to the Byrnes Health
Education Center and Family First Health.

“This donation to the Byrnes Health Education Center and the Mural Arts
Philadelphia’s Porch Light Program underscores our ongoing engagement in
the fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Allison Davenport, CEO of
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Pennsylvania. “These kits provide
Pennsylvanians with a safe way to dispose of unused pain medication. We
know that safe disposal is an important step in preventing opioids from
being misused, and ultimately, in saving lives.”

The Byrnes Health Education Center is raising awareness of the overdose
epidemic among children through educational programs about the impact
drugs can have on individuals, families and communities.

The Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Porch Light Program is a joint
collaboration with the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral
Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. This collaboration focuses
on issues that have tangible effects on local communities, such as
substance abuse, and works to create positive changes within the

UnitedHealthcare, in partnership with community groups across the
country, has focused on five key interventions where research indicates
there is significant potential to fight opioid addiction and misuse:
promoting CDC guidelines on prescribing and dispensing; working with
pharmacies on appropriate prescribing levels; reducing Neonatal
Abstinence Syndrome in newborns; promoting Naloxone use; and increasing
referrals to medication-assisted treatment centers.

More than 2 million people in the United States suffer from
substance-use disorders related to prescription opioid painkillers.
According to the National
Institute on Drug Abuse
, in 2016, there were 2,235 opioid-related
overdose deaths in Pennsylvania – a rate of 18.5 deaths per 100,000

For more information about UnitedHealthcare’s efforts to address the
opioid epidemic, visit https://newsroom.uhc.com/opioids.html.

About UnitedHealthcare
is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the
health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care
experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining
trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States,
UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for
individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and
contracts directly with more than 1.3 million physicians and care
professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide.
The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people
through owned and operated health care facilities in South America.
UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:
UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit
UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or
follow @UHC on Twitter.

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Christina Witz
(952) 931-4645