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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 ...