AMCP Says CDC’s Draft Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Lack Holistic, Multi-Stakeholder Approach

Alexandria, Va., January 19, 2016 — The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) believes that a holistic, comprehensive and multi-stakeholder approach among health care providers and patients is necessary to truly address the opioid epidemic. AMCP delivered this message to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week in comments on the agency’s Proposed 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (CDC-2015-0112). 

At the same time, AMCP applauds President Obama for highlighting the severity of the epidemic in his Jan. 12 State of the Union Address.

“Prescription drug abuse, especially with opioid analgesics, is the fastest-growing drug problem in America,” said Mary Jo Carden, RPh, JD, AMCP Vice President of Government and Pharmacy Affairs. “We’re heartened that this issue is getting the attention it deserves from the highest levels.”

While AMCP believes the CDC’s draft guidelines are a step in the right direction, AMCP has concerns with some of the recommendations. Many important elements are either missing from the draft guidelines or can be improved upon, including:

  • Patient risk evaluation and assessment; 
  • Lock-in programs; 
  • Electronic prescribing; 
  • Inter-professional team approach;
  • Prescription drug monitoring programs; 
  • Opioid overdose antidotes; and 
  • Safe storage and disposal of opioids. 

Read AMCP’s specific comments on these areas here.

AMCP has asked CDC to consider these elements before finalizing and adopting the guidelines to ensure that the guidelines include the benefit of the experience gained from managed care pharmacy and the patient population it serves.

AMCP is committed to addressing the opioid epidemic and recently established an Addiction Treatment Advisory Group (ATAG) that will evaluate current gaps and barriers to addiction treatment services, while also developing recommendations to improve patient care.

Prior to ATAG’s formation, AMCP convened a meeting of multiple stakeholders to recommend activities and programs that AMCP can promote to improve pain management, prevent opioid use disorder, and improve medication-assisted treatment outcomes. The December 2015 issue of the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy contains proceedings from this meeting. Read the article here.