Robert B. Wilson, II, MD, served as one of four panelists discussing the best practices for pain management and opioid therapies on May 4, 2017. Sponsored by the North Carolina Medical Board (NCMB),“Prescribing Controlled Substances-What Every Prescriber Needs to Know” focused on the opioid crisis in North Carolina and prevention of opioid overdoses.
In April 2016, NCMB launched a first-of-its-kind initiative to increase its oversight of opioid prescribing known as the Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative (SOPI). This program uses data provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services* to identify prescribers for investigation by the Board. Its primary goal is to reduce patient harm and deaths related to prescription opioids by proactively identifying and addressing potentially unsafe prescribing.
NCMB recognizes that chronic pain is a legitimate medical issue and wants patients to receive safe and appropriate care. The Board encourages care that conforms to currently accepted standards regardless of the quantity or dose of medication prescribed. Understandably, SOPI has caused some anxiety among NCMB licensees who have no wish to find themselves the subject of a medical board investigation. The Board recognizes that prescribers identified through its selection criteria may be practicing and prescribing in accordance with accepted standards of care.
Find more information about the Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative, including FAQs, prescriber resources at https://www.ncmedboard.org/landing-page/safeopioids
*Data is provided by the state Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, Drug Control Unit, and the NC Office of Chief Medical Examiner.