An Examination of State and Federal Opioid Analgesic and Continuing Education Policies: 2016–2018

Journal of Pain Research (10/20) Duensing, K.; Twillman, R.; Ziegler, S.; et al.

New research evaluates the effect of the Food and Drug Administration's Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program on continuing education (CE) policies from 2016 to 2018. The results indicate that 527 federal and state opioid-related policies were approved during the study period, with most concentrating on prescription drug monitoring programs. Yet 170 set limits on opioid prescribing and another 35 referenced or incorporated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opioid prescribing guidelines. Additionally, 46 states and Washington, D.C. required a level of pain or opioid prescribing CE for prescribers renewing their licenses. These requirements potentially impacted up to 1.7 million prescribers, and a REMS-compliant CE program fully met state mandates for various prescribers in more than two-thirds of the cases. "Assessing the impact of these changes is difficult, at best, but will be necessary if interventions are to be refined to increase their effectiveness," the authors conclude.

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