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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 12, 2017 10:43 AM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Opioid Prescribing Guidelines
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation requiring mandatory implementation of opioid prescribing guidelines developed by the Safe and Effective Prescribing Practices Task Force.

Convened by the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the task force developed and approved guidelines, which have been all or in part independently adopted by the state Board of Medicine, the Board of Pharmacy and Board of Dentistry. The guidelines include:
  • Emergency Department Pain Treatment Guidelines: To appropriately relieve pain and attempt to identify those who may be abusing or addicted to opioid analgesics and refer them for special assistance.
  • Opioid Use and Safe Prescribing for Geriatric Pain: This guideline will highlight special problems concerning using opioids when treating older adults for chronic non-cancer pain.
  • Guidelines on the Use of Opioids to Treat Chronic Non-cancer Pain: These guidelines address the use of opioids for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. These guidelines do not address the use of opioids for acute pain, nor do they address the use of opioids for the treatment of pain at the end-of-life.
  • Guidelines on the Use of Opioids in a Dental Practice: These guidelines address the use of opioids for the treatment of acute dental pain.
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Pain Treatment: This guideline addresses the use of opioids for the treatment of pain in pregnant patients, during and immediately following delivery, and during breastfeeding.

  • Opioid Dispensing Guidelines: These guidelines are focused on several key areas that can impact pharmacists of any practice setting. Focal points include assessing the appropriateness of opioid pain medication at the point of dispensing, recognition of “red flags” on prescriptions as well as high risk medication combinations, available resources for those with a substance use disorder, and methods to prevent diversion from the emergency department.

    This legislation is part of a comprehensive approach to fighting the ongoing heroin and opioid addiction crisis in Pennsylvania.

    I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB655