On July 9, 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy or REMS for extended-release and long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesics.
According to the FDA news release the REMS "is designed to ensure that health care professionals are trained in how to properly prescribe these medicines and how to instruct their patients about using them safely."
The centerpiece of the ER/LA Opioid Analgesics REMS is a prescriber education program about the risks of opioid medications as well as safe prescribing and safe use practices. The education will be funded by grants from companies that make extended-release and long-acting opioid analgesics. The education will be controlled, designed, and delivered by accrediting continuing health care education providers.
FDA Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for Extended-Release and Long-Acting Opioids: This FDA information page includes links to the ER/LA opioid analgesics REMS blueprint, Q&A, news release, and other resources.
Office of National Drug Control Policy: This White House Web site features information and resources about prescription drug abuse and a link to the 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan. The plan includes the role of continuing health care education in addressing the national prescription drug problem.
ER/LA Opioid Analgesics REMS: The REMS Program Companies (RPC) Web site includes information for CE providers, including the request for grant applications, and information for health care professionals and patients.