RICHMOND, Va. (July 12, 2017) – Venebio Group, a leader in personalized risk prediction algorithms, today announced that its risk-screening tool for opioid overdose, Venebio Opioid Advisor™ (VOA™), is now commercially available nationwide following the conclusion of its pilot phase.

While much of the national attention around the opioid epidemic has focused on addiction, many unintentional overdoses occur not because of excessive dosage, but from other factors like age, concomitant medications and pre-existing health conditions that can increase the risk of certain individuals treated with prescription opioids. The VOA technology analyzes these risk factors and predicts the patient’s likelihood of a life-threatening opioid overdose.

“It is tragically ironic that prescription opioid overdose deaths have increased nearly four-fold to almost 50 per day in a time when we have all the data we need to effectively target at-risk patients and address their personal risk factors,” said Barbara K. Zedler, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Venebio Group. “With VOA, we can leverage data that already resides in virtually every EMR system and in every payer’s claims data warehouse to identify even hard-to-find patients at risk and help reduce their risk of a prescription opioid overdose.”

The new tool will assist health plans, health systems, medical practices, pharmacies and other stakeholders in identifying the risk level of individuals treated with prescription opioids for a life-threatening overdose. Initial adopters of the VOA technology include health plans, university health systems, EMR systems and pharmacies in Virginia and New York, such as Virginia Premier Health Plan, Inc.

“Patient safety is our highest priority, and the risks associated with prescription opioids, at any dose, are substantial,” said Javier Menendez, RPh, MBA, Vice President of Pharmacy Operations, Virginia Premier Health Plan. “Venebio Opioid Advisor offers us the best option available to identify those patients at risk of a prescription opioid overdose and take preventive action before any harm can occur.”

VOA is the only validated clinical decision support tool that quantifies a patient’s likelihood of experiencing a life-threatening overdose from a prescription opioid, determines a personalized risk factor profile for each patient and provides clinicians with individualized guidance regarding interventions to reduce the patient’s risk of overdose.

VOA is a patent-pending technology, developed with the support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)[1]. Venebio has conducted retrospective validation studies in populations as large as 18 million opioid users and has published four peer-reviewed studies, two of which demonstrate VOA’s ability to predict with 90 percent accuracy the likelihood of a patient experiencing an unintentional overdose from a prescription opioid.[2][3] This high level of validated accuracy is enabled by the inclusion of clinical and pharmacy risk factors, specific to each individual, that may dramatically influence each patient’s risk of overdose.

For more information about Venebio Opioid Advisor, please visit

About Venebio Group

Venebio is a research consultancy that provides cost-effective, custom solutions for complex life sciences problems. By integrating the expertise of a global network of scientists in a broad range of biomedical fields, Venebio delivers comprehensive project management and problem solving in genetic and molecular epidemiology, pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacovigilance, personalized medicine, bioinformatics, biomarker discovery, and epidemiologic literature reviews and analysis.  Learn more at and


[1] Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44DA042655. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

[2] Zedler B, Saunders W, Joyce A, Vick C, Murrelle E. Validation of a Screening Risk Index for Serious Prescription Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression or Overdose in a US Commercial Health Plan Claims Database. Pain Medicine. 2017. Pain Med pnx009.

[3] Zedler B, Xie L, Wang L, Joyce A, Vick C, Brigham J, et al. Development of a Risk Index for Serious Prescription Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression or Overdose in Veterans’ Health Administration Patients. Pain Med. 2015;16(8):1566-79.