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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 3, 2016 01:16 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that will amend the Medical Practices Act of 1985 requiring the state Board of Medicine to implement mandatory Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum in Pennsylvania’s medical schools in order to have the most current and up-to-date information on proper opioid prescribing practices. State funding will be dependent on implementation of the curriculum, and the curriculum will be evaluated every three years.

The curriculum will focus on four areas:
  • Pain management;
  • Multimodal treatments for chronic pain that minimize the use of opioids, or when opioids are indicated, to prescribe them in a way that’s safe and that follows guideline-based care;
  • Focusing on patients who have been identified as at risk for developing problems with prescription opioids; and
  • Teaching medical students how to manage substance abuse disorders as a chronic disease.

    As part of the new Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum, students will also be required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of naloxone, an antidote for an opioid overdose.

    The United States has seen a dramatic increase in opioid prescribing for chronic pain, from 87 million prescriptions in the mid-1990s to 207 million in 2013. The increase is associated with a jump in opioid misuse and deaths from accidental overdoses.

    The Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum will be woven throughout the students’ education.
I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB1346