The Prescription Drug Safety Network Significantly Expands Its Reach in Year 2 and Reports an Average 48% Knowledge Gain Nationwide
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Purdue Pharmaceuticals, L.P. (“Purdue”), a founding member of the Prescription Drug Safety Network (“the Network”), commends EVERFI for reaching 300,000 students at 3,021 middle and high schools and 81 colleges and universities with its Prescription Drug Safety course since the fall of 2017. After taking the course, students nationwide increased their scores by an average of 48% across several assessments, including understanding prescriptions, safe use, refusal skills, and supporting a friend.1
The Network is a nationwide coalition of public and private-sector organizations created by EVERFI, a leader in prevention education, to bring investment, human capital, best practices, and prevention technology to schools across the nation to help address opioid and prescription drug abuse with a critical focus on high-school level prevention education and at-risk communities. The Network’s 30 partner organizations including health systems, pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, foundations, and state leaders, provide resources to enable EVERFI’s education specialists to drive local uptake of the curriculum.
EVERFI’s innovative, evidence-based prevention education curriculum provides students with basic information about three classes of prescription medicines (opioids, stimulants, and central nervous system depressants), including proper use and disposal, as well as interactive scenarios that help guide individual choices on potential situations involving misuse. EVERFI courses are aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.
“Prevention education is an important part of creating healthy communities. If we can help the next generation make informed choices about prescription medication use, including opioids as well as other controlled substances, we have the potential to break the cycle of misuse, addiction and overdose,” said Craig Landau, MD, president and CEO, Purdue Pharma. “We are proud to be one of many organizations supporting this important work and we are pleased to commit additional resources from both Purdue and our subsidiary Adlon beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year. We need public-private partnerships like this network to drive meaningful solutions forward.”
The Network’s National Reach
During the 2018-2019 academic year, more than 151,000 students across 2,174 middle and high schools nationwide accessed the course. Most participants were in 9th grade (44%), with students in grades 10-12 comprising 43% of participants. Middle and high school participants during the 2018-2019 academic year demonstrated an average 48% knowledge increase on critical topics including the science of addiction, reading a prescription label, refusal skills and supporting a friend.1
During the 2017-2018 academic year, 57,000 students across 813 middle and high schools nationwide accessed the course. Most participants were in 9th grade (44%), with students in grades 10-12 comprising 35% of participants. Middle and high school participants during the 2017-2018 academic year demonstrated an average 49% knowledge increase.2
College students have also participated in a version of the Prescription Drug Safety course that was customized for their use. During the 2017-2018 academic year, 39,500 college students participated in the course and during the 2018-2019 academic year, 51,000 college students participated in the course.
Results from an ongoing national teacher survey conducted by EVERFI reflected the program was also well received by teachers. Ninety-five percent of educators who had been trained to deploy the program found the course effectively taught their students about prescription drug safety, and 78% agreed that the course covered content that their students would not otherwise have seen and would recommend the course to other educators.1
“The Prescription Drug Safety course is aimed to not only increase student knowledge – we know that is the foundation where it needs to start - but we know that knowledge is only valuable if it’s engaging in a way that changes attitudes and perceptions,” said Dan Zapp, PhD, senior director of research, EVERFI. “We’re extremely encouraged by what the results are showing about how the education is making a positive impact.”
Regions Sponsored by Purdue
Purdue joined the Network in 2017 with an initial commitment to support EVERFI’s efforts to increase course accessibility and utilization in five areas: California (Sacramento and surrounding communities), Connecticut (New Haven and surrounding communities), Ohio (Columbus and surrounding communities), eastern Tennessee, and southern West Virginia.
During the 2018-2019 academic year, within Purdue’s sponsored regions, the Network reached 16,790 students in 246 middle and high schools.3 More than 70% of students in these schools, who participated during the 2018-2019 academic year, agreed that the course:
- helped them identify the signs of prescription drug misuse;
- helped them understand various ways to refuse to participate in prescription drug misuse;
- made them feel more confident in their ability to intervene when they felt a friend may be misusing prescription drugs; and
- taught them about the consequences of sharing and selling prescription drugs.3
After completing the course, 64% of students in regions sponsored by Purdue said they were more confident in their ability to step in to help someone who demonstrates the signs of misusing or abusing prescription drugs (up from 48% pre-course) and 45% of students said they recognized it was their responsibility to prevent prescription drug misuse at their school (up from 29% pre-course).4
Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, Purdue will expand its sponsorship in Tennessee to ensure all students across the state have access to the Prescription Drug Safety course. Adlon Therapeutics L.P., a subsidiary of Purdue, also recently announced it will join the Network and will sponsor course uptake throughout most of North Carolina and all of South Carolina beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year.
Significant Growth in Connecticut
In 2018, Purdue expanded its commitment to include the entire state of Connecticut, home to its corporate headquarters, and announced a collaboration with the Connecticut Prevention Network.
For the 2017-2018 academic year, 1,200 students across 22 schools accessed the Prescription Drug Safety course. With close collaboration between EVERFI and the Connecticut Prevention Network, 7,300 students across 86 schools accessed the course during the 2018-2019 academic year.5
“While some students may already be familiar with the information provided through the course, it is important to have population-level curricula to reach informed individuals, at-risk individuals and everyone in between,” said Kathy Hanley, Behavioral Health Director at Western CT Coalition, part of the Connecticut Prevention Network. “We found the most useful part of the Prescription Drug Safety course was the discussions it generated. After completing the course, we found students were engaged and ready to share ideas on how to speak to their friends, and other people in the larger community, about the risks associated with misusing prescription drugs.”
The Connecticut Prevention Network is a collection of regional coalitions that bring together government leaders, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals, law enforcement, social service providers, school personnel, parents, civic groups, faith organizations, youth and others to advocate for wellness initiatives across all 169 cities and towns in Connecticut.
Purdue is committed to addressing the opioid addiction crisis and has taken numerous actions to stem prescription opioid abuse in close collaboration with states, communities, industry partners, and law enforcement agencies. For additional information about Purdue’s commitment to addressing the opioid crisis, please read more about what we’re doing now.
About EVERFI’s Evidence-Based, Population-Level Approach
Grounded in behavior change theory and the incorporation of evidence-based practices, the Prescription Drug Safety curriculum utilizes social norms theory to engage the healthy majority of students who do not misuse or abuse prescription drugs and challenge misperceptions about the prevalence and social acceptance of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Bystander intervention strategies are incorporated to help students recognize the signs of prescription drug misuse and abuse and build self-efficacy to assist someone who may be struggling with such issues. Interactive scenarios and self-guided activities help students practice healthy decision-making in a safe virtual environment. The curriculum also includes teacher-guided classroom interaction to socialize and solidify the learning experience. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.
About the Methodology
The data presented in this release includes results from in-course assessments used to measure students’ knowledge and pre- and post-course surveys to measure their attitudes and behaviors on prescription drug use. For the five Purdue-sponsored regions, 16,790 students completed Prescription Drug Safety during the 2018-2019 academic year. Attitude and behavior survey results for the Purdue-sponsored regions include 12,673 pre-course responses and 5,952 post-course responses.
About EVERFI, Inc.
EVERFI, Inc. is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. Founded in 2008, EVERFI has certified over 20 million learners in critical skill areas with more than 4,300 partners in all 50 U.S. states and Canada. EVERFI is an industry leader that builds Networks to tackle the toughest social issues, including the Campus Prevention Network, a coalition of higher education institutions committed to campus sexual assault and alcohol abuse prevention; and the Financial Capability Network, a coalition of industry leaders dedicated to improving financial outcomes for communities across the country.
About Purdue Pharma L.P.
Purdue Pharma and its subsidiaries develop and provide prescription medicines and consumer products that meet the evolving needs of healthcare professionals, patients, consumers and caregivers. We were founded by physicians and are currently led by a physician. Beyond our efforts to provide quality medications, Purdue Pharma is committed to supporting national, regional and local collaborations to drive innovations in patient care while also continuing our efforts to address the opioid addiction crisis.
Purdue’s subsidiaries include: Adlon Therapeutics L.P., focused on treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related disorders; Avrio Health L.P., a consumer health products company that champions an improved quality of life for people in the United States through the reimagining of innovative product solutions; Imbrium Therapeutics L.P., established to further advance the emerging portfolio and develop the pipeline in the areas of CNS, non-opioid pain medicines, and select oncology through internal research, strategic collaborations and partnerships; and Greenfield Bioventures L.P., an investment vehicle focused on value-inflection in early stages of clinical development.
For more information, visit www.purduepharma.com.
- Prescription Drug Safety Network. Prescription Drug Safety Course. K-12 Impact Report 2018-2019. Retrieved from: https://everfi.com/networks/prescription-drug-safety-network/impact/. Accessed August 6, 2019.
- Prescription Drug Safety Network. Prescription Drug Safety Course. K-12 Impact Report 2017-2018. Retrieved from: https://everfi.com/networks/prescription-drug-safety-network/impact/.Accessed July 20, 2019.
- Prescription Drug Safety Network. 2018-2019 Program Impact Report for Purdue. Available upon request.
- EVERFI data on file.
- Prescription Drug Safety Network. 2017-2019 Program Impact Report for Connecticut. Available upon request.
Source: Purdue Pharma L.P.