Boston opioid piece

Boston residents attended the Boston Community Forum on Substance Abuse with Hillary Clinton, Mayor Marty Walsh, and Attorney General Maura Healey in October 2015.

After a public campaign by Massachusetts CIR at Cambridge Health Alliance and Boston Medical Center, 5,000 physicians in training will now have access to the Massachusetts Online Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).

As Cambridge resident Dr. David Scales wrote,

“The database is a major piece of the state’s effort to stem the overdose epidemic. Checking its critical data on patients’ past prescriptions can mean the difference between prescribing a much-needed pain medication or wrongly prescribing what turns out to be an overdose.”

Until now, resident physicians did not have direct access to the state’s database to see if a patient had active prescriptions from other doctors, forcing them to seek out an attending to review prescription records online.

CIR physicians gathered close hundreds of  signatures and presented a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker and Massachusetts HHS Secretary Marylou Sudder. The problem gained more visibility when residents shared their stories with the Boston Globe.

As  result of their advocacy, CIR leaders have been invited to be part of a stakeholder group which will consult on the implementation of the Massachusetts Prescription Awareness Tool, a more robust version of the PMP that will have the capability of connecting with 42 states.

Massachusetts CIR is also urging elected leaders to support guidelines or requirements for curricula to educate physicians-in-training on this issue.

In November 2015 CIR physicians gathered close to 300 signatures and presented a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker and Massachusetts HHS Secretary Marylou Sudder. The problem gained more visibility when residents shared their stories with the Boston Globe.

Massachusetts CIR is also urging elected leaders to support guidelines or requirements for curricula to educate physicians-in-training on this issue.

See previous coverage of Boston CIR advocacy on the opioid crisis here.