(Washington, D.C.) — Speaking today at a forum of national experts — America’s Opioid Epidemic: Strategies for PreventionPharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt emphasized workable, near-term solutions to help combat the rising opioid epidemic, including requiring electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) for controlled substances.

Other speakers at the event included Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“When providers e-prescribe controlled substances directly to pharmacies, it eliminates the risk of paper scripts being trafficked to multiple drugstores without the knowledge of prescribers or pharmacists,” said Merritt.

In July, PCMA outlined this and other solutions in a public letter to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb and reiterated them at today’s forum:

  • Require E-prescribing (e-Rx) for Controlled Substances
  • Seven-Day Opioid Prescription Limits for Acute Pain
  • Endorse the CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain
  • Improve and Integrate State Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) and Require Prescribers to Check PDMPs
  • Give Medicare Part D Plans More Tools to Fight Pharmacy Opioid Fraud
  • Achieve Timely and Flexible Implementation of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Lock-In

PCMA also recently released a new ad outlining “common sense solutions to the opioid crisis.”