Pharmacy Benefit Management Of Opioid Prescribing: The Role Of Employers And Insurers

In the last two decades, prescribing rates for opioids have increased nearly three-fold, from 76 million prescriptions in 1991 to approximately 207 million prescriptions in 2013.  This remarkable volume of opioid prescribing is unique to the United States, where 2015 prescribing amounts were nearly four times those in Europe.   Sadly, this much more frequent prescribing of addictive medications is connected to an epidemic of deaths related to abuse of opiates and other drugs of abuse.  Drug overdose deaths are now considered a national emergency, topping 59,000 in 2016.  The abuse of opioids can be seen as the leading public health emergency in the United States faces today. The startling increase in the use of opioids has many causes.  Two decades ago, health providers perceived that pain was under-treated, and in 1998 the Joint Commission formally recognized pain as the fifth vital sign.  At the same time, drug companies developed and promoted a new generation of synthetic opioids, and added extended release as well as abuse deterrence formulations.   Doctors prescribed, and patients consumed, these drugs in ever increasing quantities. At the same time, illicit forms of opioids became more widely available and abused.  Now, with the harrowing increase in mortality attributed to opioid abuse, it is time to look for new solutions. As the adverse consequences resulting from opioid misuse became apparent, employers sought the he...
Source: Health Affairs Blog - Category: Health Management Authors: Tags: Costs and Spending Insurance and Coverage Organization and Delivery Payment Policy opiods PBMs Source Type: blogs

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What is a Benzodiazepine? Benzodiazepines are a prescription drug sedative used to treat a variety of conditions. They are classified as Schedule IV in the Controlled Substances Act. Some of the conditions that Benzodiazepine can treat include: Insomnia Anxiety Seizures Muscle tension Panic disorders When used as prescribed under the supervision of a medical professional, Benzodiazepines can be very useful in the treatment of these disorders. Many people are able to live healthy, happy lives while taking Benzodiazepines to curb the symptoms of their various conditions. However, because of the addictive nature of Benzodia...
Source: Cliffside Malibu - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Uncategorized benzo benzodiazepines prescription drug abuse prescription drug addiction prescription drug use prescription pills Source Type: blogs
We  learned last week that the 2017 drug overdose numbers reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clearly show most opioid-related deaths are due to illicit fentanyl and heroin, while deaths due to prescription opioids have stabilized, continuing a steady trend for the past several years. I’ve encouraged using the term “Fentanyl Crisis” rather than “Opioid Crisis” to describe the situation, because it more accurately points to its cause—nonmedical users accessing drugs in the dangerous black market fueled by drug prohibition—hoping thi...
Source: Cato-at-liberty - Category: American Health Authors: Source Type: blogs
Conclusion Using the three Cs of risk management strategies—collecting information, communicating, and carefully documenting—when prescribing controlled substances supports quality patient care and can decrease the risk of improper prescribing allegations. Appendix 1. Prescribing Controlled Substances: Informed Consent Some, but not all states have promulgated various requirements and recommendations for components of an informed consent discussion when prescribing controlled substances.  The following is a compilation of current individual state requirements and recommendations for informed consent. ...
Source: Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Current Issue Risk Management Source Type: research
Conclusion and Recommendations More intervention-based clinical trials are needed to provide a strong alternative candidate therapy for management of opiate use disorder. Buprenorphine, although a promising candidate, should be researched more regarding treatment retention and patient satisfaction before any conclusions can be made regarding its standard use for opiate substitution maintenance treatment of pregnant patients with opiate use disorder. Heroin-assisted treatment still cannot be considered in opiate addicts refractory to MMT; more data should be collected regarding efficacy in larger participant populations un...
Source: Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience - Category: Neuroscience Authors: Tags: Current Issue General Review buphernorphin heroin methadone opiate opiate addiction treatment withdrawal Source Type: research
With so many political crises to attend to daily, it’s hard not to let important issues fall by the wayside. However, with the unveiling of the Republican plan to reform the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the powerful opposition to that plan, nothing is being done to address the opioid abuse epidemic our nation faces. Every day we turn our attention to other matters, Americans die of overdose. But there is something we can do while the national debate on health insurance rages – encourage the use of medical marijuana for pain sufferers. More than half the states in the nation and the District of Columbia have l...
Source: Cliffside Malibu - Category: Addiction Authors: Tags: Richard Taite Source Type: blogs
When patients present with issues, physicians look to the most effective tools for treatment. The same is true in addressing an epidemic. While much more work remains to reverse the nation ’s opioid epidemic, using tools such as prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP), medication-assisted treatment and naloxone, physicians are making progress. A new fact sheet provides some evidence of that progress on a number of fronts.Focused prescribing practices In a fact sheet released by the AMA,physicians ’ progress to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic was quantified showing new trends in the use of avail...
Source: AMA Wire - Category: Journals (General) Authors: Source Type: news
Check your mailbox over the next two weeks —there should be a letter from U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD, calling on all physicians throughout the nation to raise awareness and further efforts to end the opioid overdose epidemic. Physicians are in a unique position of leadership when it comes to this epidemic —they are on the front lines witnessing the impact every day from emergency department overdoses to substance use disorder treatment. The letter asks directly for physicians’ help to solve and bring an end to the opioid overdose epidemic.“We will educate ourselves to treat pain safel...
Source: AMA Wire - Category: Journals (General) Authors: Source Type: news
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Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
Some people go faint at the sight of needles, while others breathe a sigh of relief knowing that pain relief is on the way. If you're in the second category, chances are good you or someone you know well is an avid proponent of acupuncture. A traditional Chinese medical practice, acupuncture is a therapeutic treatment in which a trained professional inserts a series of thin needles into strategic points in the body in a way that can be used to stimulate the body's natural painkillers and ultimately diminish pain. Although the treatment has a long, distinguished history, patients in the United States still rarely hear the t...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
The opioid epidemic knows no boundaries. The epidemic is not limited to race, profession or socioeconomic status. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (heroin and prescribed opioids) nearly quadrupled with more people dying from drug overdoses in 2014 than recorded in any prior year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. At least half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. Despite recent initiatives that have been put into place to curb the number of opioid related deaths, such as public availabilit...
Source: Healthy Living - The Huffington Post - Category: Consumer Health News Source Type: news
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