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News Release

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Trinity Health and Pacira Pharmaceuticals Announce Collaboration to Decrease Opioid Use Nationwide

Collaboration will develop and standardize evidence-based, low-opioid strategies across Trinity Health's 22 states to benefit people and communities

PARSIPPANY, N. J. and LIVONIA, Mich., March 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Trinity Health, one of the largest hospital systems in the nation, and Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCRX), today announced they will collaborate to develop an alternative approach to opioids for pain management.

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This collaboration intends to demonstrate the way health care systems and the pharmaceutical industry can work together to improve patient care and address a serious global problem that affects the health of individuals as well as communities.

In collaboration, Trinity Health and Pacira will work to improve the overall patient-recovery experience and decrease the threat of long-term opioid risks which include misuse, abuse, and addiction. In doing so, they will also improve the economics of acute care and create new procedure-specific enhanced recovery and pain protocols that, when appropriate, will include using less risky pharmaceutical alternatives to opioids. Together, the organizations will also develop both physician- and patient-facing educational materials and generate quality improvement data that tracks their successes and progress reducing the use of opioids for pain management. This data will also guide next steps in developing and testing other protocols and products.

“The health care industry must strive to eliminate painkiller addiction and its often tragic endings," said Paul Conlon, Pharm.D, J.D., and senior vice president of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety for Trinity Health. "We are pleased to be working with Pacira to develop a more people-centered approach for pain management across the many diverse communities we serve."

Under the terms of the collaborative agreement, Trinity Health and Pacira teams will identify patient populations who would most benefit from opioid minimization strategies in hospitals. They will then develop protocols and training for procedure-specific enhanced recovery. Each approach will aim to reduce or replace opioids that are commonly used to manage postsurgical pain. 

“We are excited and proud to collaborate with Trinity Health on this joint commitment to reducing reliance on opioids as the first line of defense for managing acute pain,” said Dave Stack, chairman and chief executive officer of Pacira. “By working collectively to develop, disseminate, and educate on these enhanced recovery protocols, and thus reducing exposure to debilitating and costly opioid-related adverse events or longer-term societal burden, we are truly advancing patient care.”

Beyond the unwanted and potentially life-threatening adverse events associated with opioid use, research continues to uncover the connection between their introduction in the hospital setting and the overall societal opioid burden.

A recent JAMA Internal Medicine article highlighted that for opioid-naive patients, many surgical procedures are associated with an increased risk of chronic opioid use in the postsurgical period;1 perhaps more startling, a recent national survey revealed that 1 in 10 patients admit they’ve become addicted to or dependent on opioids after being exposed to these powerful medications following an operation.2

Adding further validity to the importance and impact of these collaborative opioid-sparing protocols is the element of patient preference. A 2014 study uncovered that more than half of postsurgical patients prefer a non-opioid option,3 and a national survey conducted in 2016 found many patients have indicated they are delaying surgery due to fear of taking opioids to manage their pain.2

According to a 2016 analysis of health care claims, opioids also significantly contribute to health care system costs.4 The study showed that the national aggregated dollar value of charges related to opioid-related diagnoses increased more than 1,000 percent from 2011 ($32.4 million) to 2015 ($445.7 million), and private payers’ average costs for patients abusing or dependent on opioids was almost $16,000 more per patient than the average cost per patient across all patients’ claims.4

Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently shared their findings on the high societal cost of the opioid epidemic, which burdens the U.S. economy with an estimated total of $78.5 billion a year.5

About Trinity Health

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 93 hospitals, as well as 120 continuing care programs that include PACE, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $16.2 billion and assets of $23.4 billion, the organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 97,000 full-time employees, including 5,300 employed physicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit You can also follow @TrinityHealthMI on Twitter.

About Pacira                                                                           

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PCRX) is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the clinical and commercial development of new products that meet the needs of acute care practitioners and their patients. The company’s flagship product, EXPAREL® (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension), indicated for single-dose infiltration into the surgical site to produce postsurgical analgesia, was commercially launched in the United States in April 2012. EXPAREL and two other products have successfully utilized DepoFoam®, a unique and proprietary product delivery technology that encapsulates drugs without altering their molecular structure, and releases them over a desired period of time. Additional information about Pacira is available at

Forward Looking Statements

Any statements in this press release about our future expectations, plans, outlook and prospects, and other statements containing the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including risks relating to: the success of our sales and manufacturing efforts in support of the commercialization of EXPAREL; the rate and degree of market acceptance of EXPAREL and our other products; the size and growth of the potential markets for EXPAREL and our ability to serve those markets; our plans to expand the use of EXPAREL to additional indications and opportunities, and the timing and success of any related clinical trials; the related timing and success of United States Food and Drug Administration supplemental New Drug Applications; the outcome of the U.S. Department of Justice inquiry; our plans to evaluate, develop and pursue additional DepoFoam-based product candidates; clinical trials in support of an existing or potential DepoFoam-based product; our plans to continue to manufacture and provide support services for our commercial partners who have licensed DepoCyt(e); our commercialization and marketing capabilities; our and Patheon UK Limited’s ability to successfully and timely construct dedicated EXPAREL manufacturing suites; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” of our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016 and in other filings that we periodically make with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent our views as of the date of this press release. Important factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated or implied by forward-looking statements, and as such we anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.


  1. Sun EC, Darnall B, Baker LC, Mackey S. JAMA Intern Med. Published online July 11, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.3298.
  2. Wakefield Research on behalf of Pacira Pharmaceuticals. Opioid Addiction and Dependence After Surgery is Significantly Higher than Previously Known. 2016.
  3. Gan TJ, et al. Curr Med Res Opin. 2014;30(1):149-160.
  4. FAIR Health White Paper. The Impact of the Opioid Crisis on the Healthcare System. September 2016. 
  5. Florence, Curtis S. PhD, et al. Medical Care. 2016;54(10): 901-906. 
Media Contacts:
Trinity Health
Eve Pidgeon, (313) 605-1026

Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Susan Mesco, (908) 391-8283

Coyne Public Relations
Alyssa Schneider, (973) 588-2270  

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