New Report: Opioid REMS-Compliant Accredited CE Activities—2020 Update

The ACCME has released a new data report demonstrating the scope of continuing education (CE) activities that are compliant with the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) related to opioid analgesics. The report reflects data available as of August 15, 2020.  

The first FDA REMS to incorporate accredited CE was the Extended-Release and Long-Acting (ER/LA) Opioid Analgesics REMS, approved by the FDA in July 2012. In 2018, the FDA issued the Opioid Analgesic REMS (OA REMS), which expanded the program to include immediate release opioids, as well as broader information about appropriate pain management and alternatives to opioids. The ER/LA Opioid Analgesic REMS program is being phased out as a result of its evolution into the new OA REMS program. During the tenure of the ER/LA program, nearly 500,000 learners participated in approximately 1,000 REMS-compliant CE activities offered by more than 100 accredited CE providers. 

Key takeaways from the new OA REMS report include:  

  • From March 1, 2020 through August 15, 2020, 24 accredited providers reported 213 OA REMS-compliant CE activities. Of those, 166 activities had been held or released, and 44 were planned for the future.  

  • The activities were offered in a variety of formats; the most common format was live courses.  

  • For those activities that had been held or released, accredited providers reported 111,358 learners.  

  • Of the 111,358 learners in OA REMS-compliant CE activities that had been held or released, 57% reported they were registered to prescribe Schedule 2 or 3 drugs (registered prescribers). Of these, approximately 82% indicated they had an individual license and 18% indicated they had an institutional license. 

  • Of the 111,358 learners who successfully completed these CE activities, physicians and advanced practice nurses made up the largest groups.  

The new report is available to download here. For more information, visit the CME in Support of REMS webpage.