Data Helps Docs Prescribe Opioids Safely

Jul 12, 2017
Successfully addressing safe opioid use while ensuring access to these medications for patients in pain requires a comprehensive approach that includes patients, pharmacies, and – critically important – physician education and outreach.
  • Pain

On Monday, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the agency is considering mandatory provider education around pain management as a way to address our nation’s crisis of opioid misuse and abuse.

The opioid crisis evolves when over-prescribing occurs, and this behavior must change starting with the first fill. Primary care physicians report having concerns about opioid pain medication misuse, find managing patients with chronic pain stressful and report insufficient training in prescribing opioids.

Approximately, 20% of patients with acute or chronic non-cancer pain receive prescriptions for opioids, yet, only 3% of opioids are prescribed by pain specialists, according to our research.

Partnering with Prescribers Today

At Express Scripts, we agree that physician education around opioid management is critical. While the FDA continues to pursue the possibility of required training for healthcare providers, the private sector is ready to address this concern today.

Express Scripts Advanced Opioid ManagementSM solution works comprehensively with patients, pharmacies and – critically important – physicians, to minimize early exposure while helping to prevent progression to overuse and abuse.

A crucial part of this comprehensive solution includes physician education and outreach. Prescribers receive automated messages directly at the point-of-care via their Electronic Health/Medical Records (EHR/EMR) portal or preferred method. These messages inform them of issues such as potential duplicate therapy, misuse and abuse, drug-drug interactions and use of multiple prescribers or pharmacies. The alerts also occur if their patient is approaching morphine equivalent dose (MED) thresholds.

By working across the entire care continuum – especially at the point-of-care – and leveraging our data can help make a significant and meaningful difference in this national epidemic.

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