Pharmacy Times reports that, "The first PDMP program was enacted by New York State in 1918 and was used to monitor prescriptions for cocaine, codeine, heroin, morphine, and opium. With this program, pharmacists were required to report copies of prescriptions to the health department within 24 hours."
To address our nation's opioid epidemic, states are increasingly taking action at the prescription level. This includes enacting mandates on prescribers and their controlled substance prescriptions. Legislators have focused on opioid prescriptions in order to prevent overprescribing, and the resulting regulations primarily fall into four categories:
In December of 2017, Michigan’s Lt. Governor Brian Calley signed a comprehensive 10-bill package to address Michigan’s opioid epidemic, substance abuse and drug diversion problems. The multi-faceted package addresses various education initiatives from school aged children to patient informed consent and also covers acute pain prescriptions, MAPS and a variety of other topics impacting the prescribing of controlled substances in Michigan.
Happy Spring Break! A few of the news stories that caught our eye at AffirmHealth this past week.
In previous blog posts, I’ve written about the work we’re doing at AffirmHealth to combat the growing opioid epidemic in our country. With Dash, we’re working to help clinicians access prescription drug monitoring programs as efficiently as possible with an eye toward driving clinical decision support based on scientific guidelines.
As a both a practicing emergency medicine physician, and Chief Medical Officer at AffirmHealth, an organization dedicated to combatting opioid abuse in this country, I spend a significant amount of time thinking about the right tools we need to develop to make pain management practices more effective. In the clinic, healthcare providers are operating at a time when we have never had more information about our patients readily available. Conversely, however, this wealth of information often creates the challenge of “too much noise; too little signal” and it can be easier to fall into the trap of simply maintaining old practice patterns that have worked for us in the past. Unfortunately, the outdated practices of yesterday will not be enough to effectively reverse the worsening opioid epidemic in our country.
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.
A recent Washington Post article highlights the fact that states are quickly adopting comprehensive mandates requiring doctors who prescribe opioids and other controlled substances to check a patient’s prescription history within the statewide database (prescription drug monitoring program – PDMP). To date, eighteen states have implemented these mandates and it is likely that adoption will continue to increase in the coming months and years. Bottom line—mandates are here to stay.
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