TN 2018: opioid prescriptions continued to decrease …opioid overdose deaths…highest in a 5-years

Pharmacists receive extra training to prevent excess opioid prescriptions

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – A Memphis pharmacy company is making sure pharmacists are trained to fight the opioid epidemic by rolling out a new continuing education plan to stop addiction and spare lives.

In 2018, during then-Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam’s administration Tennessee overhauled its prescribing laws to fight the opioid epidemic by putting prescribing limits in place. And while statistics are showing positive signs, medical professionals said there’s more work to be done.

“Almost all the states we work in have some sort of opioid issue going on,” said Rod Recor, Chief Marketing Officer of Comprehensive Pharmacy Services.

The Memphis company has operations in 47 states with 1,600 pharmacists running pharmacies in health care facilities.

“More and more pharmacists are becoming part of care teams. In many of our hospital clients, we have care team approaches to delivering care,” he said.

The company just announced a new stewardship program, a 20-hour training module with video lectures, written activities, and a practicum. The program is aimed at training pharmacists to limit opioid use and find other ways to treat chronic pain. Recor said the company just started their first class of participants.

“This stewardship program really goes to supporting those rules and legislation in Tennessee and other states as well,” he said.

Tennessee tightened opioid prescribing rules in 2018 under a plan known as TN Together. Doctors can write a 3-day opioid prescription with no requirements before prescribing. But doctors may only issue a 10 or 20 day prescription after checking a state controlled substance monitoring database (CSMD), explaining why an opioid was issued, and including a specific diagnosis. Doctors may only prescribe 30-day dosages for “medical necessity.”

The Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) reports opioid prescriptions in the state have continued to decrease and inquiries to the CSMD have increased dramatically, a positive sign, showing more medical professionals are logging in and engaging in prevention.

Despite that, statewide drug overdose deaths attributed to opioids are still trending up, sitting at 1,304 in 2018, the highest in a 5-year time span.

Shelby County reported 123 opioid overdose deaths in 2018, according to TN Department of Health data. That number is down from 159 in the year 2017.

9 Responses

  1. They are still blaming patients, pharmacists, and physicians for a “crisis” they created. It is no accident that deaths continue to rise, as these “experts” pretend to deal with the problem.

    C-Span just covered another discussion of the “Opioid Epidemic” at the Senate Judiciary Committee. A bunch of out of touch politicians who took money from the pharma industry, to protect them from scrutiny are all parading their willful ignorance.

    One politician claimed that there were 48,000 deaths from “Fentanyl.” None of these “experts” even bother to correct these ignorant comments. These are the very same imbeciles that helped to create this “crisis.” It is really too bad there are no criminal charges, because people died, due to their ignorance. Some of them are repeating talking points from ten years ago.

    We would not have this problem if we had Universal Healthcare. We need to cut out the greed of our politicians, big pharma, and the corrupt healthcare industry. Maybe they should divert some of the funding to studying Regulatory Capture and a historical record of misleading information on healthcare.

    This is a shameless display of ignorance, so many years after the fact they are suing the pharma companies.

    • Wait wait… If they were protecting them from scrutiny would they not say what was said by the defense at the J&J Trial (and by every cognizant, ‘in the now’ CPP)? …That pharmaceutical manufacturing NEVER was a factor in “opioid crisis”???

      You just wanted to holler “healthcare for all” here right?

  2. FOR GODS SAKE WAKE THE F UP TN!!!! You got the numbers right in front of your face and you can’t see it. Are you freaking BLIND???? Number of prescriptions DOWN Number of opioid deaths UP!!!!! Can you not figure it out, that it is NOT prescription opioids that are killing people but it is ILLICIT opioids that are killing people!!! YOU are killing people with intractable pain that cannot be cured and cannot be treated adequately with anything BUT LEGAL PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS!!! You can train your pharmacists all you want and it ain’t going to make a freaking difference…..I am so damned sick of the lies and bullshit people like this guy putting out there. Research the freaking facts and numbers….

  3. Why doesn’t everyone at least go post all over that idiots Facebook page ? Rather do nothing until we all have no pain care left

  4. Such idiots why us no body meeting w that states idiot government? And or having protests I front of that guys office? ??? ? Someone everyone needs to educate that idiot. Sure ppl r dying over street drugs let’s go waste time and money with pharmacists LOL

  5. Nanny state. There was no mention of pharmacist asking prescribing physician for patient’s ICD10 diagnosis and long term treatment plan. There is such greed involved here.

    How many suicides each year by state for untreated pain and forced taper of legitimate opiate therapy?

    So dishonest, tragically phony reporting. Why are injured patients being forced to suffer? Like David Pezzula. Like so many other patients who are victims to this frenzy.

    • On point. Solution? Have docs certify ( like those rx’ing SUBOXONE) Then we SUFERING, DOCUMENTED (sorry) persons with chronic pain issues can receive approved, scheduled OPIATE ANALGESICS as medicinally useable pain management therapy.aa a valid and proven TREATMENT. Any other suggestions?

  6. This is such B.S. Now the pharmacists know more than the Doctors treating their patients? When is someone finally gonna say ,like the impeachment, ” we have no clue what we are doing with this “phony crisis?” This crap has to stop before someone finally had enough and goes postal on these morons!!

  7. Awww… How ignoble, self-serving and completely insane… So sweet!

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