AffirmHealth Blog

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A Pharmacist's Perspective: PDMP Checks are a Must

Feb 6, 2017 9:19:00 AM by Emily Coleman posted in Healthcare, PDMPs, Opioid Epidemic, Pharmacist, Pharmacy

In recent years, the opioid abuse epidemic has taken center stage in the United States.  From stories in local newspapers, to nuanced discussions about the best policy solutions Washington can offer, it seems most people are in some way aware of the current crisis.  One of the most effective methods used to combat the rise in narcotic-related overdoses has been the implementation of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) by 49 of 50 states.  These systems help to track controlled substances – who is prescribing them, who is receiving them, how much is prescribed and how often, etc.  While there is a lot of emphasis on the role physicians play in PDMPs being a meaningful tool, an important member of the healthcare team is often overlooked – the pharmacist. 

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The Missing Piece in the CMS Opioid Misuse Strategy

Jan 23, 2017 10:14:04 AM by Mario Ramirez, MD posted in Healthcare, Clinician Perspective, Opioid Epidemic

This morning, I read with great interest the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Opioid Misuse Strategy. As I’ve written about in prior blog posts, and as others have also noted in a variety of fora, our country is experiencing a profound opioid crisis across all socioeconomic classes of our society. As the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy recently commented, physicians are partially to blame for the problem as we’ve misprescribed these medications under the pretense that they were not addictive when used to manage legitimate pain. We now know that to be untrue and CMS statistics clearly show that physician prescribing practices have accelerated the problem. The document highlights four priority areas for action including:

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Prescription Opioid Misuse: Even When Prescribed by a Doctor

Jan 3, 2017 9:45:00 AM by Mitch Evans posted in Healthcare, Opioid Epidemic


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What can states do to stop the opioid crisis: Increasing prescriber use of prescription drug monitoring programs is critical to stopping opioid misuse and overdose deaths

Dec 20, 2016 10:54:12 AM by John Cole posted in Healthcare, PDMPs, Opioid Epidemic

Our nation is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. The growth of the opioid crisis has generated an outcry for more resources to fight addition and provide proper treatment. Policymakers and public health officials are increasingly using new tools such as prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs)—state-based electronic databases that track the dispensing of certain controlled substances, including prescription opioids—to curb misuse and reduce overdose deaths. While PDMPs have been proven to be effective, the number of prescribers using these databases in clinical care remains low[1].

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In the News: Does access to medical marijuana reduce opioid deaths?

Dec 14, 2016 9:37:24 AM by Mitch Evans posted in Healthcare, Opioid Epidemic, Medical Marijuana

A recent analysis from health and medicine newsletter STAT examines the correlation between medicinal marijuana availability and opioid overdose deaths.

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Treating Chronic Pain: An Interventional Approach

Dec 12, 2016 11:00:00 AM by Jeremy Walker, MD posted in Healthcare, Interventional Pain Management, Clinician Perspective

Are you suffering from chronic pain?

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