0
0
0
s2sdefault
powered by social2s

Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Lara Sisselman, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING URGES HEALTHCARE COMPANIES TO IMPLEMENT OPIOID MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS

RICHMOND (October 20, 2017) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general from across the country in sending letters to 15 health care companies that provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services, encouraging the companies to implement programs to mitigate prescription opioid abuse.

 

The attorneys general also sent a letter to the president and CEO of CVS Health Corporation applauding the company's recent program that automatically enrolled all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients in an opioid abuse mitigation program.

 

"Everyone has a role to play in helping to combat the devastating opioid crisis affecting every corner of this country - including Virginia," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "From the opioid manufacturers and distributors, to the doctors who prescribe opioids, to the pharmacies that fill fulfill those prescriptions, everyone needs to see what they can do to help save lives. I commend CVS for implementing commonsense measures to prevent opioid abuse, and hope these other pharmacy benefit management services will do the same."

 

In their letters to the PBMs, the attorneys general asked that the companies adopt similar measures as CVS, including limiting to seven days the supply of opioids dispensed for certain acute prescriptions for patients who are new to the therapy, limiting the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the opioid, and requiring the use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended-release opioids are dispensed. The CVS program's requirements are similar to the opioid prescribing guidelines recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

 

The multistate PBM letters were sent to:

  • Argus Health Systems, Inc.
  • Benecard Servies LLC
  • Envision Pharmaceutical Services LLC
  • Envolve Health
  • Express Scripts, Inc.
  • Humana, Inc.
  • Magellan Rx Management
  • MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc.
  • Navitus Health Solutions LLC
  • OptumRX , Inc.
  • PerformRx
  • Prime Therapeutics, Inc.
  • ProCare Rx
  • RxAdvance
  • WellDyneRx

"While there are no doubt additional measures that pharmacy benefit managers could take to combat prescription opioid abuse, we believe over-prescribing of opioids could be curtailed by the implementation of a CVS-type program," the attorneys general wrote.

 

"The opioid epidemic is the most pressing public health crisis our country faces," the attorneys general wrote. "It affects every state and has a devastating impact on communities - tearing apart families and stretching the budgets of local law enforcement and first responders as they do the difficult work on the front lines. For our part, attorneys general are pooling resources and coordinating across party lines to address the crisis."

 

Opioids, both prescription and illicit, are now the main driver of drug overdose deaths nationwide. More than 60,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2016, including more than 1,100 in Virginia.

 

In addition to Attorney General Herring, those joining today's letter include attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

 

Please click here to view these letters.

 

Attorney General Herring and a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general are conducting an investigation into whether manufacturers and distributors engaged in unlawful practices in the marketing, sale, and distribution of opioids.

 

Attorney General Herring has made combating the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic a top priority, attacking the problem with a multifaceted approach that includes enforcement, education, prevention, and legislation to encourage reporting of overdoses in progress, expand the availability of naloxone, and expand access to the Prescription Monitoring Program. He has supported federal efforts to improve the availability of treatment and recovery resources and made prescription drug disposal kits available across the Commonwealth. Attorney General Herring recently outlined his recommended next steps for combating the crisis, focusing on law enforcement initiatives, support from the medical community, and recovery, treatment, prevention and education.

 

###