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    NYSAM Public Policy

    Wednesday
    Jun042014

    New York Society of Addiction Medicine Opposes Passage of Senate Bill 4406-B 

    The New York Society of Addiction Medicine opposes passage of Senate Bill 4406-B for the following reasons:

    1. There is insufficient scientific evidence that marijuana is effective in addressing many of the conditions enumerated in S.4406-B.

    2. Where an active ingredient of marijuana is specifically indicated in the treatment of a condition enumerated in S.4406-B, the proposed language does not reflect that specificity. If, for example, CBD is the component part of marijuana indicated for a specific condition, the proposed bill fails to distinguish types of cannabinoids, how concentration of cannabinoids will be quantified, and how accuracy in labeling will be achieved.

    3. S.4406-B does not address how advertising and product promotion will be regulated and restricted. For-profit corporations will be able to own dispensaries. The profit motive has led to harmful practices in California and other states.

    4. The bill’s requirement that representatives from the marijuana industry have a place on the advisory committee is a problematic conflict of interest.

    5. The FDA has not approved the medical use of marijuana.

    NYSAM urges the New York State Senate to reject S.4406-B. We encourage New York State to implement Governor Cuomo’s plan to work with the FDA and the medical research community in an initial pilot of the medical use of marijuana.  

    Wednesday
    Mar282012

    NYSAM Board Votes to Support MSSNY’s Position Paper on Prescription Drug Abuse and NYSAM Public Policy Forum is a Success with over 100 in attendance.

     At NYSAM's meeting on March 19, 2012,  the board voted to endorse MSSNY's position paper on prescription drug abuse. The report opposes the Attorney General's Proposal for mandatory online check of prescription histories every time a controlled prescription is written. The Attorney General's office was represented at our Public Policy Forum on Prescription Drug Abuse.  Over 100 people were present at our forum, where both the Attorney General's office and Assemblymen Gottfried and Assemblyman Cymbowitz spoke. Numerous NYSAM members stepped to the microphones to ask questions and expressed their opinions. Most members wanted physicians to have access to prescription histories of patients seeking controlled substances, but they were concerned about mandatory online checking with stiff penalties if an online check was not done on every occasion.  Many thought there were additional things which could be done about the problem including education of physicians and the public. 

    NYSAM was not opposed to the objectives of the Attorney General's report, but were opposed to the rigid methods and penalties. Afterwards, there were meetings with NYSAM members and the Attorney General's office to see if there was any room for compromise. We felt that the technology was not yet available to do what the Attorney General wanted done without great effort on the part of physicians. The Attorney General's position was that we should trust them to be reasonable. The MSSNY position which we have endorsed asks for the Health Department to make prescription histories easily available and encourages voluntary checking by physicians of that history.  (Please click here to see a copy of the Report) NYSAM plans to join MSSNY and other groups in lobbying against this position and the draconian proposals of the Attorney General's office. NYSAM members who want to join in this lobbying effort, should contact our president, Norm Wetterau via email at normwetterau@aol.com

    For ASAM'S FULL POSITION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE, GO TO THE ASAM WEBSITE AT www.asam.org.


    Tuesday
    Jan172012

    NYSAM’s Position on Prescription Drug Abuse

    Much is being proposed to help reduce the prescription drug abuse problems in New York State. NYSAFP
    and MSSNY have both made suggestions. The American Society of Addiction Medicine is preparing a position paper that will address provider education and prescription monitoring programs. The New York Society of Addiction medicine is bring forth two other suggestions which we hope will be considered as solutions are sought for this problem in our state.


    1. NYSAM encourages the development of quality indicators related to the prescribing of controlled substances. For example, some doctors never do urine drug screens, Insurance companies and Medicaid know this but never suggest it. The same can be said of other important quality indicators. Physician organizations, insurance companies and other payers should develop these indicators, provide education around them and use them t help improve patient care.


    2. Physicians should receive adequate reimbursement for the evaluation and management of patients on controlled substances. It takes just a minute to write a prescription and the patient usually leaves happy. It takes more time to evaluate whether a patient is a good candidate for a potentially addicting medication. For the optimal management of chronic pain patients, old records need to be reviewed, and there is a need for patient education and careful follow-up. These services are not adequately reimbursed. Insurance companies pay for expensive injections and for opioid prescriptions but they often do not pay for counseling or comprehensive multi-disciplinary team approach, even though studies show that this is often the most effective approach to chronic pain problems.

    Friday
    Sep092011

    Prescription Drug Abuse

    NYSAM is concerned about prescription drug abuse. We plan to have a Public Policy Forum in New York City on Friday, February 3, 2012 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, the day before our 8th Annual Scientific Conference at The New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Avenue, New York, New York.

    At the forum, we will have several of our members speak and then have several members of governmental agencies, the assembly and state senate speak. Much of the three hours will be spent in discussion and dialogue.


    Under Public Poliyc Resources on our website, we have previous testimony given to a Assembly Committee last year. Below is what the NYSAM Public Policy Committee has developed so far this year. We want input from all our members.
    Do you agree with what we have written so far? What additional ideas might you offer. Please reply through the website www.nysam-asam.org or e mail Norm Wetterau at  normwetterau@aol.com.
    You do not have to be a member of our Public Policy Committee to have this input. Please mark your calendars for these two important events.

    In order to provide optimal care for a patient, a physician must be aware of the medications that patient is already taking.  It is well known that some patients are receiving controlled substances in excess of recommended dosages, receiving prescriptions from multiple providers, and misusing the medications. These patients often do not volunteer this information to the physician. NYSAM believes that knowing if a person is receiving prescriptions for controlled substances from other providers before prescribing any potentially addictive medication, proper prescribing, and careful follow-up are part of providing good medical care. We are therefore offering these suggestions that might help patients all over New York State receive the best possible treatment:

    1.        Physicians should have online access to information on all
    controlled substances prescribed for his or her patient. Right now such access is very limited.  If only one change can be made in the current rules, it should be this:  Such access should be easy to obtain but only available to the patient's physician, PA or NP.

    2.       Physicians should receive adequate reimbursement for the evaluation and management of patients on controlled substances. It takes just a minute to write a prescription and the patient usually leaves happy. It takes more time to evaluate whether a patient is a good candidate for a potentially addicting medication.  For the optimal management of chronic pain patients, old records need to be reviewed, and there is a need for patient education and careful follow-up. These services are not adequately reimbursed. Insurance companies pay for expensive injections and for opioid prescriptions but they often do not pay for counseling or comprehensive multidisciplinary team approach, even though studies show that this is often the most effective approach to chronic pain problems.

    3.       NYSAM encourages quality indicators related to the prescribing of controlled substances. Some doctors never do urine drug screens and insurance companies and Medicaid know this, but never suggest it. The same can be said of other important quality indicators.  Insurance companies and other payers should develop these indicators and use them to help improve patient care.

    4.      Education should be available for all who presecribe controlled substances, but only required for those who are having problems. Doctors can attend a course but not change the way they do things. If Medicaid and insurance companies had quality indicators, that would help determine which doctors are doing a good job prescribing. Providers who are doing a good job should not be required to take such a course. Many of them have already taken similar courses, or have read extensively on the subject.

    Tuesday
    May172011

    Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is essential in responding to opioid overdoses