Weekend Round Up

May 6, 2018 9:47:24 PM / by Jody Lutz

By: Jody Lutz

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With opioid prescribing regulations being updated, national policy announcements, state guidelines as well as daily commentary regarding the opioid epidemic flooding news outlets, the AffirmHealth Weekend Round Up looks at the top headlines that caught our team’s eye. From controlled substance protocols to research focusing on pain management, addiction medicine, the ER and more provided to you in an easy to access summary. News you can use. Welcome to the Weekend Round Up.


April 30, 2018

State launches effort to educate doctors on pain management in effort to curb opioid prescriptions

Source: Arkansas Times

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Governor Hutchinson announced this morning a free, online continuing education program for health care providers intended to help reduce Arkansas's unusually high rates of opioid prescriptions.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will run the program, called AR-IMPACT (Arkansas Improving Multidisciplinary Pain Care Treatment). It will be funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield — the state's largest insurer — and the office of the state drug director.

Find the Full Article Here: Arkansas Launches Pain Management Education in Partnership with BCBS


May 5, 2018

Opioid vs. Crack: Congress Reconsiders Its Approach to Drug Epidemic

The Wall Street Journal

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

In the 1980s, Congress passed a series of laws that aimed to counter the widespread use of crack cocaine with tougher sentencing guidelines.

Three decades later, lawmakers are once again considering legislation aimed at curbing a drug crisis: opioid abuse. This time, the emphasis is on funding research into a public-health crisis and enabling states to deal with its consequences.

Find the Full Article Here: Opioid vs Crack


May 4, 2018

Marijuana Legalization and Opioid Prescribing Rates

Clinical Pain Advisor

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Implementing medical or adult-use marijuana laws may reduce the rate of opioid prescribing for Medicaid enrollees, according to a cross-sectional study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Study authors compared opioid prescribing trends among states that implemented marijuana laws between 2011 and 2016 and the remaining states that did not. The population-based study included all Medicaid fee-for-service and managed care enrollees.

States that implemented medical marijuana laws had a 5.88% lower rate of opioid prescribing compared with states without marijuana laws (95% CI, -11.55% to ≈-0.21%).

Find the full article here: Marijuana Legalization & Opioid Prescribing Rates


APRIL 28, 2018

At Least 15 states Are Pushing For Laws to Tax Opioids. Drugmakers are Pushing Back.

Chicago Tribune

AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Facing a rising death toll from drug overdoses, state lawmakers across the country are testing a strategy to boost treatment for opioid addicts: Force drug manufacturers and their distributors to pay for it.

Bills introduced in at least 15 states would impose taxes or fees on prescription painkillers. Several of the measures have bipartisan support and would funnel millions of dollars toward treatment and prevention programs.

Find the Full Article Here: Opioid Tax Bills Introduced


May 1, 2108

Synthetics Now Killing More People Than Prescription Opioids, Report Says


AffirmHealth Key Take Away:

Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have overtaken prescription opioids as the No. 1 killer in the opioid epidemic, according to a new report.

The report, published Tuesday in the journal JAMA, calculated the number and percentage of synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths in the United States between 2010 and 2016 using death certificates from the National Vital Statistics System. The researchers found that about 46% of the 42,249 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 involved synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, while 40% involved prescription drugs.

Find the Full Article Here: Synthetics Now Killing More People Than Prescription Opioids

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