Effective January 1, 2019, CMS announced new strategies to further help Medicare Part D sponsors prevent and combat opioid overuse including additional safety alerts at the time of dispensing as a proactive step to engage both patients and prescribers about overdose risk and prevention. The new policies include (1) improved safety edits when opioid prescriptions are dispensed at the pharmacy and (2) drug management programs for patients determined to be at-risk for misuse or abuse of opioids or other frequently abused drugs.
CMS has posted tip sheets and other resources to help increase awareness of the new policies among stakeholders. Three sets of outreach materials designed for physician, pharmacist, and beneficiary audiences are available on the CMS website for download. Materials can be found at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovContra/RxUtilization.html