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WEA Trust Battles Opiate Epidemic

Local Insurance Company Reduces Opiate Prescriptions in Only Five Months

Madison, WisconsinIn July, WEA Trust, a not-for-profit insurance company, introduced an opiate utilization management program for their membership. The program focuses on members who are prescribed an opiate but have not taken the medication before. About 10% of people who have not previously had opiates will develop chronic opiate use. WEA limits opiate quantities to ensure safe use, as well as collaborate with providers to ultimately prevent addiction.

“If the opiate is paid for by insurance, insurers know exactly what opiates are being picked up at the pharmacy,” said Dr. Tim Bartholow, WEA Trust Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We believe that all insurers have an imperative to help avoid unintended chronic use and addiction, in concert with the extraordinary efforts of our partner pharmacists, nurses, physicians, and dentists.”

In the first five months since WEA Trust introduced their opiate utilization management program, they have seen a 27% decrease in opiate prescriptions, or a reduction of over 91,000 pills. This reduction avoids the risks of chronic use and addiction and allows members to first try safer treatment options while also helping employers create substance free workplaces.



The WEA Trust provides group health insurance and administrative services to public employers throughout Wisconsin. The not-for-profit WEA Trust was created in 1970 to serve Wisconsin school district employees. Today, the WEA Trust offers its top-rated service and quality benefits to all state, county, and municipal groups.