AffirmHealth Blog

The Opioid Epidemic at the End of 2018: Are We Making Progress?

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Dec 11, 2018 9:31:00 AM

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For those of us involved in the opioid epidemic as caregivers, patient advocates, and researchers, there was an interesting moment earlier this year when a series of news stories noted some optimism in the fight against overdose deaths. 

In mid-October, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar commented on preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that suggested “that the U.S. may be ‘beginning to turn the tide’ on the opioid crisis.[1]”  “The seemingly relentless trend of rising overdose deaths seems to be finally bending in the right direction…We are so far from the end of the epidemic, but we are perhaps at the end of the beginning.[2]” 

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The Future of Managing Pain: Novel Treatments & Reformulations

Posted by Jody Lutz on Nov 28, 2018 2:26:19 PM

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As the opioid misuse and overdose epidemic impacts communities across America and has sweeping global implications, practitioners are looking to the future of pain management and the novel treatment options that may be on the horizon.

Drug trends related to pain management focus on efficacy and patient safety, but with renewed attention to abuse deterrent formulations and side effect profiles. Novel agents as well as reformulations of older, industry standard products are being studied. 

The Food and Drug Administration announced on August 29, 2018 that it intends to withdraw its existing analgesic guidance for developing new pain drugs and will issue new comprehensive guidance in 2019.

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dsuvia, FDA, Raeford Brown, Opioid Therapy, Opioid Epidemic

The Controversial Approval of Dsuvia by the Food and Drug Administration

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Nov 21, 2018 8:23:13 AM

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Earlier this month on November 2nd, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dsuvia, a new sublingual version of an older drug, sufentanil, that has been in use since 1984. 

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MIPS and Improvement Activity Data

Posted by Jody Lutz on Nov 13, 2018 3:28:24 PM

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Last week on the AffirmHealth Blog we discussed MIPS and PDMP Usage and promised a follow up on additional Improvement Activities. So this week we look at an Improvement Activities Data overview as well as a handful of activities potentially pertinent to providers prescribing opioids or other controlled substances.

Let’s start at the beginning…

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MIPS and PDMP Usage: How they work together.

Posted by Jody Lutz on Oct 30, 2018 12:46:41 PM

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MIPS: What is it and what do prescribers need to know? 

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An Update on Provider Education Efforts and the Opioid Epidemic

Posted by Mario Ramirez, MD on Oct 23, 2018 1:54:07 PM

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A Focus on Opioid Education Efforts

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Naloxone and Buprenorphine...Access and Accessibility in America

Posted by Jody Lutz on Oct 16, 2018 3:25:41 PM

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Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent overdose by opioids it is designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. Commercially, it has been available for almost 50 years and several formulations are available, produced by various manufacturers. 

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The Opioid Misuse Situation

Posted by Jody Lutz on Oct 9, 2018 9:36:16 AM

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Everyday the media is flooded with stories about the toll of opioid addiction in America. New rules and regulations are regularly being introduced on a state and national level as we collectively grapple with how to tackle this epidemic. However, the war on opioids in America is not new. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control warned that prescription painkiller overdoses had reached what was considered “epidemic levels.”

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