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ER/LA Opioids: Achieving Safe Use While Improving Patient Care (P19)

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Volume 49, Issue 2, February 2015, Page 326



  • Summarize why risk evaluation and mitigation strategies (REMS) are necessary for opioid drugs.
  • Effectively assess benefits and risks of prescribing extended release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioids.
  • Define the concepts and federal and state regulations regarding effectively initiating, modifying dosing, and discontinuing ER/LA opioids.
  • Apply strategies to effectively manage risk of side effects, abuse, and diversion.
  • Counsel patients and families about general characteristics, risks, and safe management of ER/LA opioids.
  • Apply general information and specific characteristics of ER/LA opioids in practice.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) is required for extended-release (ER) and long-acting (LA) opioid medications to ensure that their benefits outweigh their risks. AAHPM has been a strong advocate of availability of these medications for use in palliative and hospice care settings while acknowledging the significant increase of unintentional deaths, emergency department visits, and admissions to substance abuse treatment due to abuse of pain relievers. Prescriber education and patient education are vital components of these REMS. This workshop will cover all six content areas defined in the FDA’s Blueprint for Prescriber Continuing Education Program, refined specifically for hospice and palliative care prescribers. While prescriber education is currently voluntary, mandates are anticipated through federal legislation in the near future. Anticipate an engaging, case-based session that informs your practice going forward.