NY: Initial Opioid Prescribing Limit Reduced to Seven Days for Acute Pain

Released: 08/11/2016   By: Heidi Dufrene, PharmD

The State of New York recently enacted several new measures to address the heroin and opioid abuse crisis in New York. One part of this legislation is aimed at reducing the overprescribing of opioids in acute pain situations. Practitioners are now limited prescribing no more than a seven day supply of an opioid for acute pain at an initial visit. This is decreased from the previously allowed 30- day supply. Acute pain is defined as pain, whether resulting from disease, accidental or intentional trauma, or other cause, that the practitioner reasonably expects to last only a short period of time. The prescriber can issue a renewal of the opioid following further consultations for the same pain. The ruling does not apply to prescribing for chronic pain, pain being treated as a part of cancer care, hospice or other end-of-life care, or pain being treated as part of palliative care practices.

The New York legislation also requires mandatory prescriber education on pain management, eliminates burdensome insurance barriers to treatment, such as requiring insurers to cover initial inpatient drug treatment without prior approval, extend 48 to 72 hours the time someone can be held for emergency treatment, and add 2,500 addiction-treatment slots statewide. It also mandates insurance coverage for the opioid overdose medication, Naloxone, if prescribed to a person who is addicted to opioids. This legislation also gives trained professionals the authorization to administer Naloxone in emergency situations without risk to their professional license.

Due to the serious nature of the opioid epidemic in the United States, many more states may begin to enact similar legislation to control opioid prescribing. As a PBM, Carlisle Medical follows state regulations regarding the dispensing of opioid medications and has protocols in place to limit an initial dispensing of an opioid to seven days in the State of New York.

Source www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-and-legislative-leaders-announce-agreement-combat-heroin-and-opioid-abuse-new