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Aug 14 2009

Seminar educates on safer opioid prescribing

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The organization behind Project Lazarus, a novel Wilkes County program aimed at reducing deaths from accidental opioid overdose, has established a new CME-eligible physician seminar that encourages safer prescribing of these drugs.

The seminar, developed by the Northwest Community Care Network (NCCN), presents clinical segments on taking a comprehensive approach to pain management and safer opioid prescribing and background on deaths from drug overdose in North Carolina. The program also highlights the NC Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) and describes how prescribers may use this resource to better manage their pain patients. Participants who are not registered to access the CSRS are assisted with completing an application. Finally, participants learn about the NCCN's Project Lazarus, which aims to distribute rescue doses of prescription naloxone to reverse respiratory depression from opioid overdose.

Seminar participants may earn AMA PRA Category I continuing medical education credit by completing an online test.

The NCCN is grateful for the North Carolina Medical Board's partnership on the new seminar, which was presented for the first time in May at a meeting of the Mitchell/Yancey County Medical Society. More than 50 physicians attended.The Board's contribution includes sending a representative to attend seminars whenever possible, and donating copies of "Responsible Opioid Prescribing, A Physician's Guide." The book was developed in collaboration with author Scott Fishman, MD, by the Federation of State Medical Boards' Research and Education Foundation.

NCCN and Project Lazarus have applied for a grant to support eight additional opioid prescribing seminars for physicians, with a planned emphasis on the western region of the state, which has the highest opioid dispensing and accidental overdose rates in North Carolina.

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