Opioid Update for Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

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Iowa Department of Public Health - Protecting and Improving the Health of Iowans


Division of Behavioral Health

Opioid Update

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) offers the Opioid Update to share information about opioid use and Iowa’s efforts to address the national opioid epidemic. Please feel free to submit topics to Madeline Scherb at madeline.scherb@idph.iowa.gov.

In this issue:

  • Provider Spotlight
  • Department Efforts
  • Opioid News

Provider Spotlight:

IDPH is introducing readers to Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) serving the State of Iowa. First, here’s a little information on what an OTP is, as defined by SAMHSA:

In the United States, the treatment of opioid dependence with medications is governed by the Certification of Opioid Treatment Programs, 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 8. This regulation created a system to accredit and certify opioid treatment programs dispensing Methadone for an opioid use disorder. SAMHSA’s Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT), part of the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), oversees the certification of OTPs. OTPs must be certified by SAMHSA and accredited by an independent, SAMHSA-approved accrediting body to dispense opioid treatment medications. All OTPs also must be licensed by the state in which they operate and must register with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), through a local DEA office.

Center for Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc.

The Center for Alcohol & Drug Services, Inc. (CADS) started operations on January, 25, 1980, with the first official meeting of its board leadership.  CADS is dedicated to the prevention, assessment and treatment of substance abuse in the Quad Cities and surrounding communities.  In 2000, CADS was awarded a three (3) year accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and has maintained this accreditation since that time.  CADS is a multi-modality bi-state program -- licensed by the Iowa Department of Public Health Division of Behavioral Health for services to Iowans, and by the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, for services to residents of Illinois.

At its Rock Island, Illinois, location, CADS provides a methadone maintenance program for both Iowa and Illinois residents.  The program serves an average of 135 methadone clients each year.  CADS uses methadone maintenance services as an adjunct to its other treatment services:  withdrawal management (detox), residential treatment, halfway house services, day treatment, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and continuing care.  The program is staffed by certified counselors, nurses, and a physician who all work with patients to develop and implement individualized treatment plans organized around best practices that support patients in achieving their goals.  For more information, please visit www.cads-ia.com or call 309-788-4571.

Department Efforts:

State to Update Iowa Prescription Monitoring Program*

DES MOINES — The state is in the process of updating the Iowa Prescription Management Program, to make it more streamlined and user-friendly. State officials hope that a $200,000 enhancement will encourage more physicians to participate in the program.

Iowa’s Prescription Management Program was implemented in 2009 to prevent doctor shopping. When a patient is prescribed opioid pain medicine, that information is entered into a system that can be accessed by registered doctors and other prescribers to see if a patient has already received prescription opioids.  But, only 42 percent of Iowa prescribers were registered with the program in 2016, according to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy’s annual report.

“Ultimately we want the system to be utilized to the fullest extent possible, and we realize from the roadblocks, some of the reasons it’s not being utilized is it’s just too onerous to be used,” said Andrew Funk, executive director of the state pharmacy board that is overseeing the upgrade.  “We believe the upgraded software will make it easier to use, make the data more user-friendly, easier to read,” Funk said. “We want it utilized. We want more prescribers signed up for it.”

Funding for the enhancement is being provided by the Iowa Department of Public Health through the recently received Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) Grant. 

* This article was adapted from the Globe Gazette


Opioid News:

Eastern Iowa Nonprofits to Offer Free Opioid Overdose Reversal Drug*

Two eastern Iowa nonprofits are offering free naloxone – a drug that can temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose – starting June 1. It's the first time the injectable version of the overdose reversal drug will be available for free in Iowa.

The Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition and Quad Cities Harm Reduction will distribute naloxone each week in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Iowa City.  "So the hope and the goal of offering it for free is that it will become more accessible to folks who are at risk of overdose and save more lives," says Sarah Ziegenhorn, executive director of the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition.  She says the nonprofits will distribute an injectable version of the medication and will teach people to use it. Ziegenhorn wants to make free naloxone available throughout Iowa this summer.

* This article was adapted from Iowa Public Radio

FDA requests removal of Opana ER for risks related to abuse*

On June 8, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested that Endo Pharmaceuticals remove its opioid pain medication, reformulated Opana ER (oxymorphone hydrochloride), from the market. After careful consideration, the agency is seeking removal based on its concern that the benefits of the drug may no longer outweigh its risks. This is the first time the agency has taken steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse.

“We are facing an opioid epidemic – a public health crisis, and we must take all necessary steps to reduce the scope of opioid misuse and abuse,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse.”

* This article was adapted from the FDA website