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“The future” of pain treatment? - 08/15/2019

Some physicians, depending on the situation, are avoiding opioids to every reasonable degree, doing their part to keep patients off the drugs that killed more than 42,000 people in the United States in 2016. Fort Worth anesthesiologist Aaron Shiraz, MD, and his group, Trinity Medical Associates, are taking it to a rarely seen extreme.


New Laws Improve Opioid Prescription Process in Texas - 08/06/2019

The 2019 Texas Legislature enacted three new laws that will change the way physicians prescribe opioids, including House Bill 3284, which delays the mandate for physicians check the state’s prescription monitoring program, known as PMP Aware, for prescriptions tied to opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. The bill pushes back the requirement from Sept. 1, 2019, to March 1, 2020.


New Electronic Form To Be Used To Report Certain Drug Overdoses - 08/06/2019

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has created an online form for physicians and other health care professionals to report overdoses from controlled substances such as opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamines. The new electronic form is expected to make reporting and collecting overdose data more efficient, DSHS officials said.


When Do New Opioid Prescribing Requirements Take Effect? - 08/02/2019

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.


Opioids and Pharmacy: PMP Extension Granted - 08/02/2019

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. Physicians need it to get comfortable with a mandate to check the state’s prescription monitoring program (PMP). Patients need it to make sure the pain medications they’re prescribed do what the drugs are supposed to do. The legislature listened, and TMA achieved wins on both counts, as well as on increased transparency from pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).


Get Qualified to Prescribe Opioid Addiction Medication - 07/22/2019

If you care for patients with opioid-use disorder, you’re probably familiar with buprenorphine, a medication that can be used at home to treat opioid addiction. But if you haven’t heard about it, or if you would like more information, tune in to a free online training course to qualify for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine.


You Write Scripts? You Better Sign Up With the PMP - 06/19/2019

If you don't yet have a user account set up with the state's prescription monitoring program (PMP), known as PMP Aware, now is a good time to get it done.


Keep Your Patients and Practice Safe from Opioid Prescription Fraud - 06/19/2019

If you prescribe opioids, it’s important to protect your practice and your patients from fraud and substance-use disorder. One way to ensure that patients accurately follow your prescription is to have them sign an informed consent and opioid treatment agreement.


Despite Deadline, New Prescription Forms Still Not Received - 06/19/2019

Many Texas physicians are now unable to write prescriptions for certain pain medications because of ongoing problems when ordering the state’s new prescription forms. As of June 1, all Schedule II prescription forms ordered before Sept. 1, 2018, were no longer valid. However, many Texas physicians have told the Texas Medical Association they are still awaiting the new forms.


Legislative Top 10: Efforts to Curb Opioid Abuse Await Governor - 06/07/2019

Motivated to act by the ongoing national opioid crisis, the 86th Texas Legislature worked to limit how the powerful drugs are prescribed.  Today's Texas Medical Association Legislative News Hotline video reports on the bill that emerged and describes new prescribing rules for Texas physicians.


Changing the Conversation about Addiction - 05/24/2019

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.


Learn About Effective Medications For Treating Opioid Addiction - 04/30/2019

If you are interested in learning about effective medications for fighting opioid-use disorder, be sure to attend the upcoming Texas Grand Rounds online webinar this week. The webinar, presented by the Opioid Response Network, will discuss the effectiveness of Naltrexone and Buprenorphine-Naloxone in treating patients with opioid-use disorder.


An Easy Way To Curb Substance Abuse - 04/26/2019

Are you looking for more ways to help stop substance abuse in your community? You can start by encouraging your patients to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.


Addiction Treatment Helps More Than Incarceration - 04/23/2019

We appreciate the opportunity to voice support and offer additional suggestions for Senate Bill 1147, which allows a judge to require that a defendant undergo an evaluation as to whether they would benefit from medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for alcohol dependence as a condition of their community supervision.


Federal Bill Would Limit Opioid Scrips for Acute Pain - 04/22/2019

The proposed three-day limit on opioid prescriptions for acute pain would be one of the more impactful provisions for pain doctors and their patients. Exceptions would include prescriptions for chronic pain, cancer care, hospice or end-of-life care, and pain treatment that’s part of palliative care.


Improve Access to MAT for Medicaid Patients - 04/09/2019

While many patients want treatment for their substance use disorder (SUD), they often lack access to the most effective treatment for their individual needs. With proper treatment and support, people with SUD can recover and live, work, and contribute to the community. SUD can be successfully managed, generally with a combination of several evidence-based practices such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), individual or group counseling, and inpatient residential treatment.


Google Your Way To Disposing Of Unused Drugs? - 03/21/2019

If you’re looking for a way to help your patients put a dent in the nation’s opioid epidemic, look no further than Google Maps.  Google Maps recently added a search feature that will make it easier for your patients to dispose of unwanted and unused medications.  


Prevention of Opioid Abuse Through Education - 03/13/2019

HB 405 was written to require collaborative efforts and involve many stakeholders who are involved in the health and well-being of mothers and infants across our state. This is the best way to ensure that as many women as possible hear about NAS and its harmful outcomes. Creating more awareness of what causes NAS and potential impacts of the condition will only help our state become a better place for all mothers and babies. HB 405 would help bring needed attention and resources to help educate our state on NAS.


New Prescription Forms Taking More Than Eight Weeks To Deliver, State Says - 03/11/2019

Update March 11: New official prescription forms for certain controlled substances could take longer than two months to receive, state health officials say.  


TMA Weighs In on Opioid-Antagonist Prescriptions - 02/11/2019

The Texas Medical Association continues to track key regulatory changes that could affect your practice, and recently submitted comments on the Texas Medical Board’s proposed rule for the use of opioid antagonists.


Texas Physicians Release 2019 Legislative Prescription for a Healthier Texas - 01/03/2019

The political landscape has changed, but many of the health care issues hotly debated two years ago are back on the table for the upcoming 86th session of the Texas Legislature. The Texas Medical Association’s (TMA’s) goal: persuade legislators to improve Texas laws for patients and their physicians.


Opioid Overreach? State, Retail Pharmacy Policies Prompt Scope-of-Practice Concerns - 12/07/2018

Worries over what’s been termed a national opioid epidemic is leading to new state and corporate pharmacy policies that could blur the line between the practice of pharmacy and the practice of medicine.


Physicians Warn of Overreach in New Pharmacy Prescription Rules - 12/05/2018

Physicians are questioning whether some Texas pharmacists are overstepping bounds by using a new rule to second-guess whether a doctor’s prescription is appropriate.


Effects of Opioids and Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs on Chronic Low Back Pain and Related Measures: Results from the PRECISION Pain Research Registry - 11/29/2018

Measuring treatments used by 202 patients with chronic low back pain in the PRECISION Pain Research Registry, this study determined the associations of opioid and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy with clinical status. More than one-fourth of patients did not use nonpharmacologic treatments for low back pain. Patients age 50-59 and 60-79 years old were more likely to use opioids than younger patients. Patients using opioids reported greater pain and back-related disability than did patients using NSAIDs. Patients concurrently using opioids and NSAIDs reported greater back-related disability and poorer quality of life than did patients using no or other pharmacologic therapy. No significant associations between pharmacologic therapy and clinical status remained after controlling for potential confounders. Neither opioids nor opioids combined with NSAIDs were more effective than just NSAIDs. Greater use of nonpharmacologic therapies and better second-line, nonopioid ph...


New Prescription Form Requirements Delayed - 11/26/2018

The Texas State Board of Pharmacy has pushed back the date for when new prescription forms for certain controlled substances will be required.