Acknowledging America’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, the White House released a plan today to reduce the rate of abuse by 15 percent within five years. According to this article from MedPage Today, the reduction will primarily be achieved by educating patients and doctors on the proper use and prescribing of painkillers such as OxyContin. In addition to supporting prescription drug monitoring programs, take-back days, and further education of patients and healthcare providers, the plan also suggests the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will move forward with a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) which was rejected in 2010.
The REMS will require drug companies to provide further training and materials to physicians prescribing the drugs. According to the article, the plan precedes a similar bill which will be introduced to Congress and would require physicians to undergo training provided by pharmaceutical companies in order to write prescriptions for extended-release prescription narcotics.