New well-being solution addresses impact of chronic pain and opioid misuse on workplace productivity, profitability

Yardley, PA (August 2, 2017) – Safe pain management has become a top priority for the health care industry and health and well-being professionals due to the increasing misuse of opioids. And while employers are seeing positive results from health and well-being programs, reports indicate they are also experiencing a distinct negative correlation between opioid use, employee performance, and their bottom line. As a result, StayWell, a leading health solutions provider, has launched a new Pain Management Learning Series that can be integrated into a company-sponsored wellness program to help employees understand the components of pain management.

Employers are taking action on two fronts – helping their workforce learn more effective ways to manage pain and avoid misuse; and holding their health plans and provider networks accountable to follow best practice guidelines when prescribing pain medications. According to the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), employees with opioid abuse account for 64.5 percent of medically related absenteeism and 90.1 percent of disability costs. In addition, caregivers (who may be dependents on a company-sponsored health plan) contributed 35.5 percent and 9.9 percent, respectively. NBGH also sites research showing that employers are seeing the impact in their prescription drug spend, as nearly one in three (32 percent) opioid prescriptions filled through an employer-sponsored health plan are linked to overuse.

“More than ever, employers are focused on improving the total health and well-being of employees. This goes beyond tracking core biometrics and claims costs to supporting aspects of health and well-being that can directly impact a person’s ability to be engaged and productive while at work,” said Nicole Latimer, CEO, StayWell. “Living with pain can affect a person’s ability to perform consistently at work, the way they interact with their peers, and other areas of their physical health. This Learning Series teaches people how to prevent pain, how to talk to their doctor about their pain, and how to manage chronic pain.”

Any employee participating in a company-sponsored well-being program that is managed by StayWell is eligible to complete the Pain Management Learning Series. It is a self-paced series that is divided into three modules: Preventing Pain, Managing Pain, and Decreasing Pain. Each module includes elements such as educational articles, video, flashcards, infographics, and a quiz.

The StayWell Pain Management Learning Series is available online and via any mobile device. Companies that contract with StayWell for workplace health and well-being programs and services can purchase the Learning Series as an enhancement to their existing program. To learn more, visit

About StayWell
StayWell is a health solutions company that uses the science of behavior change to help people live happier, healthier lives. StayWell brings decades of experience working across the health care industry to design solutions for improving individual and organizational health outcomes, managing the health of targeted populations, and creating brand engagement for employers and health care organizations. StayWell programs have received numerous top industry honors, including the C. Everett Koop National Health Award and the Web Health Award for health engagement programs. StayWell also has received URAC and NCQA accreditation for several of its programs. StayWell is majority-owned by Healthcare Services & Solutions, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (“Merck”). The company is headquartered in Yardley, PA, and also has a major location in St. Paul, MN. To learn more, visit And connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


About Merck
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to advance the prevention and treatment of diseases that threaten people and communities around the world - including cancer, cardio-metabolic diseases, emerging animal diseases, Alzheimer's disease and infectious diseases including HIV and Ebola. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of The StayWell Company, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (

 Media contact / Barbara Tabor, APR / 651-230-9192 /