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What Providers Need to Know About Prescribing Opioids for Pain Management

Over the last several years, the United States has seen a growing rate of opioid abuse and addiction especially in patients in need of chronic pain management, bringing the issue of proper pain management to the forefront of regulatory agendas. Health-policymakers, health professionals, and regulators are working endlessly to address the need for better pain therapy and guidance surrounding the use of opioids in treatment of chronic or recurrent pain management...

OIG Issues Final Rule Expanding its Exclusion Authority

On January 11, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) published its Final Rule (the "Final Rule") establishing new standards for excluding individuals and entities from participation in federal health care programs. The issuance of the Final Rule reflects changes to the OIG's exclusion authorities made by the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003, and the Affordable Care Act in 2010 as well as...

Governor Christie Pushes to Tighten Physician Opioid Prescribing to Combat Opioid Abuse

On Tuesday January 10th, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie delivered his annual State of the State address, focusing, in large part, on the state's growing need to fight drug addiction, including combating heroin and opiate abuse and helping addicts find treatment. Amongst other proposals, Governor Christie directed the state's attorney general to use emergency authority to limit the supply of opioid-based pain medications by health care providers from thirty (30)...

The Importance of Marketing Arrangements Between Pharmacies, Doctors, and Marketers

Pharmacies, physicians, and their marketers should be aware of the continued rise in scrutiny of marketing practices utilized by providers. Recent increases in investigative and enforcement actions by Federal and state regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, against inherently fraudulent marketing arrangements and a regulatory environment that is in a constant state of flux make it imperative that pharmacies utilize the best marketing practices when marketing their products...

Importance of Proper Pain Management Evidenced by Increasing Hospitalizations for Opioid Poisonings

A recent study reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has indicated that a parallel relationship exists between recent trends in opioid prescribing practices and hospitalization for opioid poisonings in children and adolescents. The study, released on October 31, 2016, concludes that, during the course of sixteen years, hospitalizations attributed to opioid poisonings in children and adolescents, or more generally, the pediatric population, have risen nearly two-fold....