September 2019 brought what could become a major victory for the state’s handling of opioid addiction. Drugmaker Purdue Pharma – which faced thousands of lawsuits from cities and states, including Texas, for its role in the national opioid crisis – announced it had agreed to a settlement with 24 state attorneys general and other plaintiffs.
Opioid abuse and overdose deaths continue to rise in the U.S., with more than 46,000 opioid-related deaths in 2017, up from 5,000 in 2000, data show. But the problem can’t be explained in total deaths alone. The crisis also has changed in character since 2001, new data show.
The Texas Medical Board is trying to head off confusion about the state’s new 10-day opioid prescribing limit for acute pain, which takes effect on Sunday. TMB’s statement, released Friday, appears to address concerns that the new law means acute pain patients must be completely cut off from opioids beyond the 10-day mark. That’s not the case, according to the statement.
In this video recorded at the Texas Medical Association Fall Conference in September, 2019, Troy Fiesinger, MD, Lindsay K. Botsford, MD, and Adam Bruggeman, MD, explained the legal requirements for physicians who prescribe controlled substances, and how clear and consistent office procedures can improve pain management care.
More than 70 Texas health institutions have received almost $18 million in federal funds to combat the ongoing nationwide opioid epidemic. The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the funds to 74 Texas community centers, physicians, rural organizations, and academic institutions to help establish and expand access to substance-use disorder and mental health services.
When it came to opioids and pharmacy matters, some of the major pieces of medicine’s 2019 agenda came down to something everyone wishes they had more of: time.
To combat the ongoing opioid crisis, state lawmakers passed several measures that change how physicians and other health care professionals will prescribe opioids. However, provisions of the laws take effect at different times, so prescribers should be aware of the deadlines and effective dates of each requirement. Below is a chart showing when each provision takes effect.
Drug addiction is a chronic medical disease, and stigma about it is keeping millions of Americans – including the growing number who suffer with opioid addiction – from getting proper medical treatment, one of the nation’s foremost addiction specialists told the closing general session audience at TexMed 2019 in Dallas.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently awarded the Texas Health and Human Services Commission $46.2 million to expand treatment options and to increase access to medication-assisted treatment.
In case you didn’t know, several changes to the state’s prescription process for certain controlled substances are about to take place.
Substance use disorders (SUD) are serious, chronic medical conditions that are manageable with the proper medical treatment and social support.
In an effort to address the very real and debilitating crisis caused by the misuse of pain medicines, the Texas Legislature has passed legislation to mandate that all prescribers and pharmacists check the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) before prescribing or dispensing certain medications.
NOTE: The mandate is effective Sept. 1, 2019, for prescribers and pharmacists. It applies to opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol (Soma), not to all controlled substances.
To help physicians set up accounts and use the new PDMP website Allison Benz, executive director of the Texas Pharmacy Board. demonstrates the new site in this brief, informative TMA-produced video. This five-minute video shows physicians how to set up, use and navigate the site.
The state legislature convened an interim special committee to discuss opioids. TMA shared the following information with the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on March 22, 2018, addressing several issues related to opioids, including disposal and maternal health.
Recent questions about Opioids issues:
What happened to the Texas Controlled Substances Registration (CSR) program?
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Chronic pain is one of the most frequent reasons people seek medical attention in the U.S., according to the CDC. If you prescribe opioids for chronic pain, there are things you need to know to protect your patients.
TMA’s new e-book, Monitoring Opioid Therapy for Chronic Pain, serves as a brief resource for that information and more.
Learn More Here
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a Guide for Clinicians on the Appropriate Dosage Reduction or Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Analgesics. The guide covers important issues to consider when changing a patient’s chronic pain therapy, including issues to consider prior to making a change, when initiating a change, and as a patient’s dosage is being tapered.
Read the Complete Guide Here
Prevention of Opioid Abuse Through Education(Testimony by John Isaac, MD HB405 (maternal health and neonatal abstinence syndrome) - March 13, 2019
A Multi faceted Approach to Combatting Substance Use Disorder - Aug. 8, 2018
Links below provide timely information from fellow health care leaders in addressing the opioid epidemic:
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Chronic Pain Resources
AAFP Pain Management and Opioid Abuse
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS)
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (ASIPP)
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American College of Emergency Physicians
American College of Surgeons
A new, free mobile app provides immediate access to information about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder.