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AAOA Celebrates First Year of Working with Partners to Address the Opioid Epidemic Through Education

February 13, 2019

ARLINGTON, Va. — This month marks one year since the launch of Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA), a national initiative to help address the nation’s prescription opioid abuse epidemic through education and awareness. In its first year, AAOA built a network of national and local partnerships, expanding its membership to include 16 national partners and more than 50 state and local partners.

“AAOA has brought together leading voices from across healthcare to raise awareness and collaborate on education efforts to combat prescription opioid misuse and abuse,” said John M. Gray, President and CEO of the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, the founding member of AAOA. “In its inaugural year, AAOA has harnessed the unique attributes of its partners and collective strength of the coalition to raise awareness of prescription opioid safe use, storage and disposal. Together we are helping patients, caregivers, providers, pharmacists and consumers understand and communicate about the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids.” 

Working with its national, state and local partners, AAOA has fostered communication with business, public health, education and law enforcement leaders. Highlights from AAOA’s first year include:

  • Creating a suite of materials to educate consumers, patients and caregivers about the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids;
  • Collaborating with pharmacy partners to develop a toolkit to help the pharmacy community educate patients and prescribers about safe use, storage and disposal of prescription opioids;
  • Partnering with physicians at The Johns Hopkins Hospital to create a patient education video to raise awareness about post-surgery pain;
  • Launching the Pledge to Pause initiative with the PA Foundation to encourage providers and physician assistant (PA) students to engage and educate patients when prescribing an opioid medication;
  • Convening more than 40 events with local partners to address the opioid abuse crisis in their communities; and,
  • Sponsoring the 2018 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit to discuss collaboration opportunities to combat prescription opioid abuse with local, state and national organizations.

“In our second year, AAOA has the opportunity to expand our reach by building on our existing work with partners to develop tailored educational materials,” continued Gray. “This will ensure more patients, prescribers, pharmacists and consumers have the information they need to prevent prescription opioid misuse and abuse.”  

AAOA’s goal is to contribute to solving the opioid crisis in a meaningful way by serving as a centralized information resource, providing education and raising awareness. Additional materials are available at


Allied Against Opioid Abuse is a national education and awareness initiative to help prevent abuse and misuse of prescription opioids. Founded by the Healthcare Distribution Alliance, the initiative is a collaborative effort with diverse partners across the pharmaceutical supply chain, as well as organizations that are experts in public health and healthcare, including ADvancing States, Alliance for Aging Research, American Pharmacists Association, American Physical Therapy Association, BeMedWise, Caregiver Action Network, Gerontological Society of America, Healthcare Leadership Council, HealthyWomen, Men’s Health Network, Mental Health America, National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations, National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration, National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, National Community Pharmacists Association, National Consumers League, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Transitions of Care Coalition, Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the PA Foundation. Our goal is to contribute to solving the opioid crisis in a meaningful way by educating patients about their rights, risks and responsibilities. To learn more, visit or follow us on Twitter: @AAOA_Tweets.


The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s nonprofit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.


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