The state of Wisconsin’s Medical Examining Board (MEB) spent part of its monthly meeting yesterday discussing efforts underway at both the state and national levels to combat opioid abuse and the MEB’s potential role in those efforts. MEB member Tim Westlake, MD, described some of the discussions that have been ongoing as part of the National Governors Association Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy Academy (Wisconsin’s participation in that Policy Academy was announced last July), including:
- Automatic enrollment of all prescribers into the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), with the MEB later determining when PDMP data should be accessed before physicians prescribe certain drugs. Other regulatory boards overseeing other prescribers (dentists, nurses and veterinarians) also may embrace certain requirements.
- MEB creation of opioid use guidelines.
- Requiring that a certain portion of some physicians’ continuing medical education requirements focus on best prescribing practices.
The Wisconsin Medical Society has been partnering with MEB members, the governor’s office, leaders in the State Legislature and Attorney General Brad Schimel’s office to work toward developing another package of bills, administrative actions and/or education to build upon last session’s Heroin & Opiate Prevention and Education (HOPE) agenda. Led by State Assembly Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), all policymakers have eagerly sought out the Society’s expertise to help craft this session’s efforts. It is anticipated that policy development will ramp up this fall.
Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government and Legal Affairs Department for more information.
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