Home > Tools You Can Use > Topics > Opioids > General You Can Use:Topics:Opioids:General<p>​​<a href=""><img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;vertical-align:auto;float:right;" /></a>Prescription opioid medications serve an effective role in pain management, but growing abuse of these drugs has reached epidemic proportions in Pennsylvania. To fight back, the Pennsylvania Medical Society Launched a public health program called <a href=""><span style="color:red;"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Opioids for Pain: Be smart. Be safe. Be sure</span></span></a>. that includes <a href=""><span style="text-decoration:underline;"><font color="#0066cc">five things physicians should do to combat opioid abuse</font></span></a>.</p> Proposed Rule Would Limit Access to Opioids for Some Medicare Beneficiaries<p>​On Nov. 16, 2017, CMS issued a proposed rule which outlines a framework for enabling Medicare Part D sponsors to implement a drug management program limiting at-risk beneficiaries’ access to controlled substances.<br></p>,000 Naloxone Kits to Be Distributed to Pa. First Responders <p>​Several Pennsylvania state agencies are collaborating to make approximately 60,000 intranasal naloxone kits available to the state’s 67 counties during a two-year period. The first distribution of kits could occur as early as November 2017. <br></p> Trend: Pharmacy Benefit Managers Setting Limits on Opioid Prescriptions <p>Here’s a look at new opioid management strategies from three major U.S. pharmacy benefit managers.</p> Drug Disposal Initiative to Launch in 12 Pa. Counties Hard-Hit by Opioid Abuse <p><span>Patients in Pa. communities hard-hit by the opioid abuse crisis – and without easy access to drug take-back boxes – will soon have a way to dispose of Schedule II narcotics. A new drug disposal initiative </span>is being led by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General and supported by stakeholder groups, including PAMED.<br></p> Blue Cross Updates Opioid Prescribing Policies, Including Prior Authorization<p>​Effective July 1, 2017, insurer Independence Blue Cross will limit initial opioid prescriptions to five days and require preauthorization if additional days’ supply is needed. </p> to Get $26.5 Million in Federal Grants to Combat Opioid Abuse <p>Pennsylvania will receive $26.5 million in federal grants to combat opioid abuse. The funding was provided for by the 21st Century Cures Act, bipartisan legislation signed into law in December 2016.</p> Handoff Protocol Outlines Steps for Helping Overdose Patients<p>​Pennsylvania has a new warm handoff protocol for emergency physicians and other clinicians who treat overdose survivors and patients at risk for substance use disorder. </p> Updates Medicaid's Medication Rules in Effort to Address Opioid Abuse <p>On March 6, 2017, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced changes to the medication rules for the state’s Medicaid program. He said the changes are part of Pennsylvania’s ongoing efforts to combat the opioid abuse crisis. </p>’s Law on Prescribing Opioids to Minors: An Important Update for Prescribers<p>​Pennsylvania’s law on prescribing opioids to minors—Act 125 of 2016—was signed into law by Gov. Wolf on Nov. 2, 2016. Pennsylvania’s state licensing boards were required to create the consent form that prescribers need in order to fully comply with the law, and that consent form is now available online.</p> Wolf Signs Opioids Legislation into Law on Nov. 2—What Should Physicians Know? <p>​On Nov. 2, 2016, Gov. Wolf signed a package of opioids legislation designed to further address the commonwealth's opioid abuse crisis.<br></p> of Progress: Naloxone Access Increases in PA Police Departments and Schools<p>​Two recent announcements show that Pennsylvania is making strides in its work to save lives through the use of naloxone.<br></p> Announces ‘Black Box’ Warnings on Risks of Combining Opioids and Benzodiazepines <p class="MsoNormal">On Aug. 31, 2016, the FDA announced that it is requiring boxed warnings (also known as "black box warnings") about the dangers associated with the combined use of certain opioid medications and benzodiazepines.</p> Announces 25 Additional “Centers of Excellence” Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Centers<p>​Pennsylvania continues to take steps in its fight against opioid abuse. Here's a look at a few noteworthy recent developments concering the opioid abuse crisis that impact the commonwealth.<br></p> Steps Physicians Can Take to Fight Opioid Abuse Crisis<p>​Learn five ways physicians can take the lead in addressing opioid abuse and misuse with their patients. PAMED has also created printable tear-off sheets and waiting room posters for physicians to use.</p>Physicians;# Physicians Discuss Addiction Treatment, PDMPs, and Alternative Treatment Options for Chronic Pain at Opioids Symposium<p><span style="line-height:107%;font-family:"calibri",sans-serif;font-size:11pt;"><span style="line-height:107%;font-family:"calibri",sans-serif;font-size:11pt;">PAMED held an Opioid Symposium in May 2016, which included updates on naloxone, the state's PDMP, and addiction treatment strategies.</span></span></p> Abuse Resource Center<p>​PAMED, in collaboration with other stakeholders, has developed several resources to help Pennsylvania physicians combat the growing opioid abuse epidemic.</p>Physicians;#Residents/Fellows;# Help Educate and Protect the Citizens in Your Legislative District From Opioid Abuse<p>Legislators can educate citizens in their district with these posters and ready-made stories/images for inclusion in their newsletter, website and social media pages.</p>Legislators;# Questions to Ask Your Physician About Opioids<p>​Patients need to work with their physicians to be smart, safe and sure about their opioid use. PAMED resources include seven questions patients should ask their physician as well as a list of where they can drop off unused medications.</p> for Pain: Be Smart. Be Safe. Be Sure.<p>​To fight opioid abuse in Pennsylvania, PAMED has created a public advocacy program called: Opioids for Pain: Be smart. Be safe. Be sure.</p>Physicians;#Media Professionals;#Legislators;#