June 11, 2014 – (Bronx, NY) – The Center for Continuing Medical Education (CCME) at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has received a $2 million grant from the Extended-Release/Long-Acting (ER/LA) Opioid Analgesics Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) Program Committee. The purpose of this grant is to develop a continuing medical education (CME) program to help educate clinicians who prescribe ER/LA opioids for patients with chronic pain about using them safely and effectively, and to ensure the benefits of these medications outweigh the risks for patients.
Victor Hatcher, Ph.D.The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all manufacturers of ER/LA opioid analgesics to collaborate and provide education for prescribers of these medications. This grant will fund the development of CME programming that follows guidelines outlined by the FDA. An estimated 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, according to the Institute of Medicine, and ER/LA opioids are often utilized as part of the treatment plan. Unfortunately, the misuse and abuse of these drugs have resulted in a serious public health crisis of addiction, overdose and death.
"We see a need for training clinicians in appropriate prescribing of ER/LA opioids, awareness of their role in chronic pain treatment plans and recognition of negative outcomes associated with inappropriate prescribing," said Victor Hatcher, Ph.D., research director, Montefiore Medical Center, and associate dean for CME and Research Administration and professor of medicine and of biochemistry, Einstein. "Globally, opioid prescribers face the dual challenge of emerging epidemics of undertreated pain and prescription opioid abuse and misuse. Safe and effective pain management requires clinical skill and knowledge of treatments and effective assessment of risks associated with abuse and addiction."
"Ultimately, our goal is to improve methods of prescribing these pain medications and enhance overall patient outcomes."– Victor Hatcher, Ph.D.
CCME’s PainEDU REMS Education Program will be disseminated on a national level to prescribers through a virtual patient simulation and skill-building training for treating chronic pain in non-cancer patients with ER/LA opioids safely and effectively. The program can be found on the nationally-known pain education website, PainEDU.org or at Rems.PainEdu.org, which was developed and maintained by Inflexxion, a healthcare technology company that provides solutions for collecting clinical data, analyzing data and providing educational content and resources in the field of pain management.
In addition to the internet-based course, Montefiore will deliver an in-person pilot course, led by Naum Shaparin, M.D., director, Pain Service, in appropriate opioid dissemination for physicians and residents and will measure how this approach elevates treatment within the healthcare system.
"When we have completed the national education effort and Montefiore pilot study, we will evaluate their effectiveness, focusing on increased prescriber knowledge and how the program changed provider attitudes and behavior," said Dr. Hatcher. "Ultimately, our goal is to improve methods of prescribing these pain medications and enhance overall patient outcomes."
Founded in 1976, CCME at Montefiore and Einstein is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. CCME has produced hundreds of CME activities and offers CME credit to thousands of practitioners.