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Awarded the first of its kind funding to provide FDA-mandated opioid prescribing education, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has launched a program to train health care providers how to safely and effectively manage patients with chronic pain using opioid analgesics.
With approximately 100 million Americans affected by chronic pain, the appropriate prescribing of opioids is a national concern. The FDA requires that manufacturers of extended release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics, as part of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS), create a fund to support comprehensive prescriber education in the safe use of these medications. BUSM was the sole grantee in the first round of funding, receiving an unrestricted award of more than $1.8 million by the manufacturers of ER/LA opioid analgesics, known as the REMS Program Companies (RPC).
Offered in collaboration with the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), BUSM’s Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (SCOPE) of Pain program is based on the FDA curriculum known as the Blueprint for Prescriber Education for Extended Release and Long- Acting Opioid(ER/LA) Analgesics.
Directed by Daniel Alford, MD, associate professor of medicine at BUSM, the program’s first phase, launched on March 1, 2013, is a three-module online educational activity. It is designed to train providers how to determine appropriateness of opioid prescribing, assess risk of misuse, and monitor patients for risk and benefits of opioid treatment for pain management. The next phases of the SCOPE of Pain Continuing Medical Education program will include conferences in ten states which, in addition to the essential curriculum, will feature state-specific policy and resource panels. These panels will be recorded and archived as part of the online educational activity. There will also be train-the trainer sessions designed to develop a national cohort of SCOPE of Pain trainers, who will deliver a series of workshops at local hospitals and community health centers around the country.
Dr. Norman Kahn, Executive Vice President and CEO of the CMSS notes that “CMSS believes education designed for the prescriber community is paramount to helping clinicians safely prescribe opioids while addressing the critical public health problem faced by opioid misuse.”
Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry, President and CEO of the FSMB, adds that “The FSMB believes educational initiatives such as this collaboration are crucial in raising awareness with physicians of the risks opioids pose, while providing a framework to ensure physicians who prescribe opioids do so responsibly and safely.”
“We are proud to have been selected to receive the first grant for such an important education initiative,” says Barry Manuel, MD, Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and Professor of Surgery at BUSM. “It is a testament to the quality and the comprehensive nature of the professional medical education provide by Boston University School of Medicine.”
About BUSM Continuing Medical Education (CME)
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has been sponsoring Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities since 1973. In 2012, BUSM was reaccredited with Commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians and reaccredited with Distinction by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a provider of continuing nursing education. Within the last five years BUSM has educated more than 179,000 health care professionals.
Founded in 1965, CMSS was created to provide an independent forum for the discussion by medical specialists of issues of national interest and mutual concern. Today, CMSS represents thirty-nine societies with an aggregate membership of 700,000 US physicians. Its main purpose is to provide a forum for collaboration to influence policy, medical education and accreditation from a broad, cross-specialty perspective. CMSS is the unified voice for specialty societies established to improve the United States’ healthcare system and health of the public. For more information, visit CMSS at www.cmss.org.
The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) is a national non-profit organization representing the 70 medical and osteopathic boards of the United States and its territories. The FSMB leads by promoting excellence in medical practice, licensure, and regulation as the national resource and voice on behalf of state medical and osteopathic boards in their protection of the public.