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President Trump recently declared the epidemic of opioid addiction and related deaths to be a national emergency, pledging the federal government would spending more money and pay more attention to stemming the crisis. While details are still to come, theoretically future actions could include mandatory education for prescribers nationally and increasing funds to treatment and prevention programs. Coinciding with that, Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, is trying to restrict access to opioids. The company announced recently that as of September 1 they will approve only a week’s supply of opioids for new users (the average supply prescribed currently is 22 days’ worth). Express Scripts will also require that short-acting formulations be prescribed first for opioid-naive patients. There will also be a limit on dosages. CVS Caremark already launched a similar program. The American Medical Association wants nothing to do with any of such measures, however. The AMA has gone on record to express that all decisions regarding prescriptions should be made between the physician and the patient.

Express Scripts Is on the Same Page with the White House on Opioids
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