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Opioid Prescriptions: Balancing Misuse or Abuse With Pain Control

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Overview

This CE activity meets the Florida Board of Pharmacy requirement for a Board-approved 2-hour continuing education course on the Validation of Prescriptions for Controlled Substances.

The appropriate and safe management of pain, and concerns about opioid overuse, abuse and overdose, have been making headlines for the past 20 years. Historically, opioids have been used for chronic non-cancer pain despite a lack of high-quality evidence for efficacy. Pain management societies and organizations (eg, THE Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [JCAHO]) embraced pain as a “vital sign” in the mid-1990s and encouraged more aggressive use of opioids for chronic pain. The amount of prescription opioids sold in the US increased nearly 4-fold from 1999 to 2014, despite no increase in reported pain.

According to IMS Health, a firm that tracks national prescription statistics, the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed peaked in 2012. For the first time in 20 years, the IMS data indicated a 12% overall decline in US opioid dispensing since the peak. Tightening of federal regulations for opioid prescriptions (eg, moving hydrocodone to schedule II status) likely contributed to the decline. Experts note, however, that the level of prescribing is still very high – with a growing overdose epidemic including fatal overdoses, which reached 28,000 in 2014.

Regulators and the public are looking to clinicians to "do the right thing" regarding pain management, but the "right thing" has been a moving target. What actions are in the patient’s or public’s best interest, and in the best interest of the clinician and their professional practice? There are opposing pressures from 1) patients and pain management experts who advocate providing opioids for individuals with pain, and 2) families, caregivers, and regulatory officials, who want to prevent prescription drug diversion, abuse and overdose. Finding the right balance to provide safe and effective pain management is a “moral imperative,” professional responsibility, and duty of healthcare professionals.

Details

Publication Date: 06/20/2016
Expiration Date: 06/20/2019
CE Credit: 2 (0.20 CEU)
Type of Activity: Knowledge-based

This program was developed by The Rx Consultant and published by Continuing Education Network, Inc. The Rx Consultant accepts no advertising or financial support from the pharmaceutical industry and is funded solely by the purchase of programs. The Rx Consultant is dedicated to providing unbiased, balanced information to health care practitioners.

Programs developed by The Rx Consultant are written by health care providers with expertise in the topic area, peer-reviewed, extensively edited, and fact-checked. This development process was created to insure that every program presents information that is current, accurate, relevant to "real world" health care providers, and written in an easy reading, "plain English" style.

Authors

Christopher Stock, PharmD, BCPP has 30 years of experience working as a clinical pharmacy specialist in substance use disorders, and as a researcher collaborating with the National Institutes on Drug Abuse. Recently, his practice and research efforts have focused on prescription opioid safety and overdose prevention.

Expert Editorial Advisor: Ron Gasbarro, PharmD

Disclosure Statement

Dr. Stock and Dr. Gasbarro report no financial relationship with the manufacturer(s) or provider(s) of any commercial product(s) or service(s) that appear in this issue.

Target Audience

This accredited program is targeted to pharmacists and nurses.

Goals & Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:

    1. Discuss opioid use in the US today, and the potential barriers to obtaining legitimate opioid medications.
    2. Review the benefits and risks of using opioids for chronic pain; list risk factors for opioid overdose and death.
    3. List the elements of safe and effective opioid prescribing and explain how to integrate the use of a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database when determining the validity of opioid prescriptions.
    4. Discuss how to effectively communicate with patients and prescribers in order to validate the legitimacy of an opioid prescription. Describe 2 indicators of potential prescription opioid diversion or misuse.

Accreditation Statements

The Rx Consultant is a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.

Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

Continuing Education Network is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 13118. Programs approved by CA BRN are accepted by most State Boards of Nursing.

ACPE Universal Activity Number: 0428-0000-16-006-H05-P


Exam & Credit Statement Procedures

Upon successful completion of this program and the post test (70%), 2 hours of continuing education credit will be awarded. To receive credit and your exam score, please complete the exam questions and program evaluation.

Editorial and Review Board

Chief Editor and CE Administrator


Terry M. Baker, PharmD

Managing Editor


Tracy Farnen, PharmD

Associate Editors


James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Kaiser Permanente
Oakland, CA

Associate Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

Richard Ron Finley, B.S. Pharm.,R.Ph.
Clinical Pharmacist (volunteer faculty)
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Memory and Aging Center
Lecturer (Emeritus) UCSF, Department of Clinical Pharmacy
Health Sciences Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Pharmacy
San Francisco, CA

Consultant Pharmacist
Ray Dolby Brain Health Center, Sutter Health/CPMC
San Francisco, CA

Consult Pharmacist Aging and Adult Health Services
San Francisco Health Department
San Francisco, CA

Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Chief of Pharmacy Service
VA Northern California Health Care System

Adjunct Clinical Professor
College of Pharmacy
Touro University
Vallejo, CA

Assistant Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA Adjunct Professor
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy
University of the Pacific
Stockton, CA

Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Nursing School
Samuel Merritt University
Oakland, CA

Pamela Mausner, MD

Helen Berlie, Pharm.D. CDE, BCACP
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI

Ambulatory Care Specialist - Diabetes
Health Centers Detroit Medical Group
Detroit, MI

Senior Editorial Advisor


Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD

Editorial Advisors


Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD

Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners


Emily K.
Meuleman, RN, C, MS

About the Rx Consultant

The Rx Consultant is a monthly publication dedicated to providing health care professionals with the information they need to educate patients about drugs and manage drug therapy. The reader is responsible for confirming the information presented here and interpreting it in relation to each patient's specific situation before utilizing the information.

Technical Specifications

Hardware requirements

Any hardware that supports Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS, iOS, or Android, and meets the software requirements.

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Browser that supports TLS 1.1 + and PDF files.

This includes Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome 38, Google Android OS 5.0 Browser, Apple Safari (version 7 for desktop, 5 for mobile), Mozilla Firefox 27, newer versions of these browsers, as well as some earlier versions that may require additional configuration.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is recommended, and is required for some browsers.

Note: TLS 1.1 and 1.2 support is required for browser security. Click here for TLS browser support details.

Internet Connectivity

Required. Broadband recommended. (T1, DSL, Cable, G4 or higher.)

Contact Us

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