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September 2, 2015

New Campaign Urges It’s Time “America Starts Talking” More Openly About Safe Prescription Opioid Pain Management

Online Resource Offers Tools to Elevate Discussion about the Safe Use of Opioids

RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Kaleo, a privately-held pharmaceutical company, today announced its partnership with leading voices in the pain management community to launch America Starts Talking, a new campaign designed to prompt discussions about the safe use of prescription opioid pain medications between healthcare providers, patients, families and friends. The company joins the American Academy of Pain Management, American Chronic Pain Association, The Pain Community and U.S. Pain Foundation in calling on anyone taking a prescription opioid, as well as their loved ones, to visit to learn more about safe use, potential side effects, and how to recognize and respond in an opioid emergency, such as accidental overdose.

For millions of Americans, prescription opioid pain medications are an important part of pain treatment, but the side effects associated with their use can be serious and, in some cases, life-threatening.1 These side effects can be difficult to control, even for those taking their opioid medication as directed.2 On average, 44 people in the United States die each day from prescription opioids, and more than 80 percent of those deaths are unintentional.1,3

“As someone who has lived with pain for over 40 years, I understand how crucial a role medications play in managing symptoms and the stigma that can go hand-in-hand with this type of prescribed therapy,” said Penney Cowan, founder and CEO of the American Chronic Pain Association. “The hope is that when ‘America Starts Talking’ more about this important issue, some of the misperceptions about opioid use will change and we’ll see an increase in conversation surrounding safe use of opioid pain medication as part of a pain management plan that could ultimately save lives.”

To help prevent accidents with prescription opioids, patients should talk to their healthcare provider about tips for safe use: taking the medication as directed, interactions with other medications and/or alcohol, signs and symptoms of overdose, and having naloxone, an opioid antidote, in the home so that friends, family members or caregivers can rapidly intervene in the event of an opioid emergency, as encouraged by multiple professional organizations, including the American Medical Association for at-risk patients.4,5

The website provides patients, family members and friends with tools to help start conversations about the safe use of opioid pain medications. The tools include downloadable discussion guides and interactive educational materials that explain how to recognize and respond in an opioid emergency, such as accidental overdose. The goal is to empower patients and their loved ones to work together with healthcare professionals to have these potentially life-saving conversations pertaining to safe use of opioids before an accident may occur.

“Many people think an opioid emergency could never happen to them but the truth is it can happen to anyone where an opioid may be present,” said Dr. Anita Gupta, Vice Chairman and Associate Professor at Drexel University College of Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology, Division of Pain Medicine and Regional Anesthesiology. “Recent survey data show that starting conversations on this topic is not always easy to do and therefore is sometimes avoided – on both sides.6 Now is the time to foster lines of communication, bring this issue out in the open and help people impacted by pain be prepared in the event of an opioid emergency.”

Visit for more information.

America Starts Talking

America Starts Talking is a collaborative campaign formed with the goal of helping healthcare providers and people living with pain begin talking about safe prescription opioid pain medication use. Leading voices in the pain management community have partnered with founding sponsor kaleo to urge healthcare providers and patients (along with their loved ones) to begin a dialogue about how to recognize and respond to an opioid emergency, such as accidental overdose. To further encourage these conversations, the program will provide interactive discussion tools and educational materials on The campaign is launched with partnership from multiple leading patient and professional pain organizations, including the American Academy of Pain Management, American Academy of Pain Medicine, American Chronic Pain Association, The Pain Community and U.S. Pain Foundation.

About the American Academy of Pain Management:  Founded in 1988, the American Academy of Pain Management (the Academy) is the largest pain management organization in the nation and the only one that embraces an integrative model of care. The Academy offers continuing education, publications, and advocacy. For more information, please visit

American Chronic Pain Association: The American Chronic Pain Association has offered peer support and education in pain management skills to people with pain, family and friends, and healthcare professionals since 1980. Today, several hundred ACPA support groups meet across the U.S. and in Canada, Great Britain and many other countries.

The Pain Community: The Pain Community aims to improve the overall health, wellbeing and quality of life of people with pain by promoting integrative, patient-centered and relationship driven pain care. Started in 2012 by people living with pain, caregivers and pain management professionals, TPC has built an informed virtual community for people with pain, their family, friends and caregivers as a safe place to find support, connection and purpose. TPC members receive information, education, advocacy and, above all, generous and compassionate support.

U.S. Pain Foundation: Founded by a fellow pain person, U.S. Pain Foundation believes strongly in the importance of connecting those who share the feelings, frustrations and daily challenges of living with pain. U.S. Pain Foundation is a non-profit providing support, advocacy and other resources to those who live with chronic pain. U.S. Pain Foundation is an organization created by people with pain for people with pain.


Kaleo is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to building innovative solutions for serious and life threatening medical conditions. Our mission is to provide demonstrably superior medical products that empower patients and caregivers to confidently take control in potentially life-threatening situations. We believe patients and caregivers are the experts on how their medical condition impacts their lives, and are an integral part of our product development process. Each kaleo product combines an established drug with an innovative delivery platform with the goal of achieving superiority and cost effectiveness. Kaleo is a privately held company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs Fact Sheet Available at: Accessed May 2015.
  2. Bohnert A, et al. JAMA. 2011;305:1315-1321.
  3. National Center for Health Statistics. NCHS data on drug poisoning deaths. Available at:
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4742. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2013.
  5. Harris, P. (2015, June 29). It’s about saving lives: Increasing access to naloxone. Retrieved July 10, 2015, from
  6. Binswanger IA, et al. Overdose Education and Naloxone for Patients Prescribed Opioids in Primary Care: A Qualitative Study of Primary Care Staff. J Gen Intern Med. 2015 Jun 9. Retrieved August 6, 2015, from


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Mark Herzog
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