Ohio Governor John Kasich on Monday announced the state is adopting new opioid prescribing guidelines for treating patients with chronic non-terminal pain. The guidelines are designed to curb prescription drug abuse, the Associated Press reports.
The guidelines were developed by the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team, along with more than 40 professional groups, state licensing boards and state agencies. They encourage prescribers to fully evaluate a patient’s situation before prescribing high levels of opioids for long-term use.
Prescribers will be encouraged to use an online drug reporting database to find out how much pain medication patients are already receiving. Pharmacists must record opioid prescriptions in the online system.
A doctor who sees a patient has reached the equivalent of a daily dose of 80 milligrams of morphine should reevaluate the effectiveness and safety of the patient’s pain management plan, according to the guidelines. A new tool calculates a patient’s opioid prescriptions into a single score for comparison to the 80-milligram threshold, a state news release explains.
Doctors are strongly advised to speak with their patients about managing chronic pain, the risks of accidental overdoses from prescription painkillers, the potential for abuse, and secure storage of their medications to prevent others from misusing them. The state has launched a new website to help doctors learn more about the guidelines.