Lancaster Physician Winter 2018 - 16

L A N C A S T E R M E D I C A L S O C I E T Y.O R G

Healthy Communities

Addressing the

OPIOID ABUSE EPIDEMIC
in Pennsylvania
Reprinted with the permission of PAMED

W

e've all heard about the opioid
abuse crisis facing the nation in the
news, and Pennsylvania has been
hit particularly hard. Consider
these statistics.

IN THE NATION:

There were about 64,000 drug overdose deaths
in 2016 (higher than peak car accident deaths,
peak HIV deaths, and peak gun deaths) - Up
22 percent from 2015.

WHAT'S BEEN DONE?

In 2016, PAMED created its Be Smart. Be Safe.
Be Sure. program to help educate patients about
the safe use of opioids and the warning signs of
addiction and help physicians prescribe opioid
drugs with more precision and less potential for
abuse. Learn more and get resources at www.
pamedsoc.org/OpioidInfo.


The state has worked with stakeholders such
as PAMED and other provider associations to
create specialty-specific voluntary prescribing

Drug overdoses are expected to remain the leadguidelines. Find them on PAMED's website at
ing cause of death for Americans < 50 years old.
www.pamedsoc.org/OpioidGuidelines.


PAMED members can get crosswalks of how
PA's PDMP compares to bordering states' systems as well as other information on the PDMP
such as querying requirements for prescribers
and dispensers at www.pamedsoc.org/PDMP.

PAMED, working with other stakeholders,
created two educational series designed for
physicians. They can also help physicians meet
the new opioids education requirement for
licensure/license renewal. Find the education
on PAMED's website at www.pamedsoc.org/
OpioidsCME.


PAMED continues to advocate on behalf of
Pennsylvania physicians and patients to help

14,400 overdose deaths between 2000 and 
In August 2016, the state launched the Preensure that any opioid-related legislation takes
2016 involved prescription opioids.
scription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).
a common sense, patient-centered approach.
Since its launch:
IN PENNSYLVANIA:

PAMED's Opioid Advisory Task Force contin
The PDMP has about 97,000 registered users
ues to collaborate on topics such as education,

4,642 drug-related overdose deaths were reportsearching about 1.1 million patients per month.
the use of naloxone, drug collection boxes,
ed in 2016, opioids found in 85 percent (25
opioid-related legislation, and the PDMP.
percent of which were prescribed).

The number of patients who went to 5+
prescribers and 5+ pharmacies in 3 months 
A standing order for naloxone - an opioid-rever
The increase in drug-related overdose deaths
for Schedule II drugs decreased by 86 percent
sal drug - was signed by Pennsylvania Physician
between 2015 and 2016 was larger in rural
in the first year.
General Rachel Levine, MD, in 2015. Since
counties (42 percent) compared to urban
that time, more than 3,800 opioid overdoses
counties (34 percent).

The number of youth who received prescriphave been reversed by naloxone in Pennsylvania.
tions for painkillers decreased 30 percent in

The drug-related overdose rate was 36.5 per
the first year.
And, it doesn't stop there. Addressing the
100,000 people, national average 16.3 per
opioid abuse crisis continues to be a priority
100,000. Seventy-eight percent of counties 
The PDMP is currently sharing data with 15 for PAMED.
had overdose death rates higher than the
other states and Washington, D.C.
national average.

The PDMP can now integrate with electronic

Many stakeholders, such as the Pennsylvania
health records (EHRs) and pharmacy manageMedical Society (PAMED), various state
ment systems of all eligible health care entities
departments, and county and specialty medical
in Pennsylvania. For more information and to
societies, are working together to address the
sign up, visit www.doh.pa.gov/pdmp.
crisis in Pennsylvania.

Learn more and access resources from PAMED at www.pamedsoc.org/OpioidResources.
LANCASTER

16

PHYSICIAN


http://www.pamedsoc.org/PDMP http://www.pamedsoc.org/OpioidInfo http://www.pamedsoc.org/ http://www.pamedsoc.org/OpioidGuidelines http://www.doh.pa.gov/pdmp http://www.pamedsoc.org/OpioidResources

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