(KFOR NEWS June 3, 2021) The American Medical Association finds all 50 states and D.C. have now reported increases in drug overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Nebraska, it’s fentanyl. In 2020, 49 people died of fentanyl overdoses in Douglas County…a 345% increase from 2019, when 11 people overdosed on fentanyl.
The AMA is out with a list of recommendations to prevent overdoses and strengthen the response to the worsening overdose crisis including:
* Remove prior authorization and address other barriers, including affordability, to medications for treating opioid-use disorder.
* Increase meaningful oversight and enforcement of parity laws, including requiring payers to demonstrate compliance prospectively as part of the product approval process.
* Ensure access to addiction medicine physicians, psychiatrists, and other health care professionals.
* Enhance access to comprehensive pain care, including multidisciplinary, multimodal treatment.
* Expand access to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone and coordinate care for patients in crisis. Harm reduction also must include increased access to sterile needle and syringe services.
* Implement programs that monitor and evaluate policies and outcomes to identify what is working, and then build on those successes.
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