Ohio's 'Smart Rx' Program Aims to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse

By Paul Gaita 03/24/15

The state's new program has the endorsement of Gov. John Kasich.

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A new statewide public health campaign from the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA) will enlist and support physicians and hospital systems to seek out solutions to prescription drug and opioid abuse.

The campaign, known as Smart Rx (Smart Medicine and Responsible Treatment) will take place over the course of several years and feature state-based physicians and other health providers in public service announcements and community outreach efforts. The campaign will also offer up-to-date training on proper prescribing procedures through online sessions.

According to OSMA president Mary J. Wall, MD., the key component to the Smart Rx campaign will have doctors take direct action in regard to reducing the amount of pain medication and other drugs that they prescribe to patients.

“We can do more to help physicians identify alternatives to prescription drug, as well as educate patients about the dangers of improperly taking medication,” said Wall. Governor John Kasich, who has made his own strides to address prescription and opioid addiction issues at the grassroots level with his Start Talking program, has endorsed the campaign.

“Our physicians, they are on the front line of this battle,” said Kasich. “And we know that working together is absolutely critical to our success.” A second wave of Start Talking, called Business Impact Zone (BIZ) and focusing on employers, will also roll out soon.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.