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Call to Action: Act now to ensure patients can get needed prescriptions

Flawed implementation of a new state law that requires all security prescription forms to have a uniquely serialized number law has left pharmacies unable to fill prescriptions and patients being refused necessary medications. The California Medical Association (CMA) is currently working on a legislative fix to address this issue immediately to ensure no patient goes without the essential medicine and care they need. Last week, AB 149 (Assemblymembers Cooper, Arambula and Low) was introduced to correct the flawed implementation the new law, which was intended to improve the security of ...

Bill introduced to fix security prescription law

Flawed implementation of a new state law that requires all security prescription forms to have a uniquely serialized number law has left pharmacies unable to fill prescriptions and patients being refused necessary medications. The California Medical Association (CMA) is currently working on a legislative fix to address this issue immediately to ensure no patient goes without the essential medicine and care they need. This week, AB 149 (Assemblymembers Cooper, Arambula and Low) was introduced to correct the flawed implementation the new law, which was intended to improve the security of ...

CMA working to fix security prescription legislation

The California Medical Association (CMA) has heard from dozens of physicians and patients across the state about prescriptions not being filled because the pads the prescriptions were written on were not compliant with a new state law. On January 1, 2019, a new California law took effect that requires all security prescription forms to have a uniquely serialized number. The legislation did not include any transition or grandfathering period to allow for continued use of old controlled substance security prescription forms on or after January 1. Unfortunately, with less than two ...

CMS hosting call for prescribers on new opioid policies on Feb. 14

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented new opioid policies for Medicare drug plans effective January 1, 2019. The new policies include safety alerts when patients fill opioid prescriptions and drug management programs for patients at-risk for misuse or abuse of opioids or other drugs.   CMS will be hosting a call on Thursday, February 14 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific time, to help physicians and other prescribers understand the new policies. During the call, CMS experts will discuss the new policies and answer questions. To ...

CMA Applauds the Enactment of Federal Opioid Legislation

The California Medical Association (CMA) applauded the enactment of H.R. 6 – a sweeping bipartisan bill that addresses nearly every component of the national opioid epidemic. The legislation would improve access to preventive services, opioid use disorder treatment programs, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and non-opioid therapies, including mental health services. It would lift restrictions on using telemedicine for treatment of substance use disorders. To address the escalation in overdose deaths, it would also strengthen law enforcement efforts to crack down on international shipments of illicit drugs such as fentanyl. H.R. 6 ...

Annual Medicare preventative exams now include review of opioid use

On August 28, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published an update to the Initial Preventive Physician Examination and Annual Wellness Visit benefits, highlighting that a review of patient opioid use is now a component of medical and social history assessments. Per CMS, the review of opioid use during these annual preventative exams will help physicians identify patients using opioids, discuss alternative for non-opioid pain therapies, and assist in diagnosing and treatment for patients experiencing or at risk for opioid-use disorders. Additional CMS Resources Reducing opioid misuse The ABCs ...

Vote on Senate opioid package expected this week

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote this week a bipartisan package of over 70 proposals intended to help combat the nation’s opioid crisis. Known as the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, the package includes legislation intended to reduce opioid use, encourage recovery, support caregivers and families, and drive innovation and long-term solutions. The California Medical Association (CMA) is working with AMA and our other partners to resolve several outstanding issues, such as the mandate to e-prescribe opioids, despite the difficult DEA process. We have, however, successfully stopped all ...

CA pharmacy board launched drug take-back database

The California Board of Pharmacy has launched an online drug take-back tool to help consumers looking for a place to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs. The searchable online database includes pharmacies statewide offering drug take-back services authorized by the California State Board of Pharmacy. The drug take-back search tool is available at pharmacy.ca.gov. Users can enter a pharmacy name, city or zip code to easily find a nearby location for disposing of unused medications. Pharmacies operating take-back programs registered with the Board of Pharmacy may offer two types ...

Reminder: CURES duty-to-consult takes effect October 2, 2018

Effective October 2, 2018, physicians must consult California’s prescription drug monitoring database (the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System, or CURES) – prior to prescribing Schedule II, III or IV controlled substances. All individuals practicing in California who possess both a state regulatory board license authorized to prescribe, dispense, furnish or order controlled substances and a Drug Enforcement Administration Controlled Substance Registration Certificate must be registered to use CURES. Because of the critical importance of adequate technical support for physicians who will have to rely on CURES as a ...