Clinical pharmacists to present on pediatric behavioral health medication trends, Massachusetts opioid epidemic at MCPHS University

December 02, 2015

Clinical pharmacists from UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division will discuss trends in pediatric behavioral health medication and the pharmacist’s role in responding to the Massachusetts opioid epidemic at MCPHS University’s Pharmaceutical Care Days Dec.5 and 6 at the Worcester campus.

“Pediatric Behavioral Health: Medication Trends and Pharmacy Benefit Management Strategies to Tackle Safety Concerns” will be presented at 12:45 p.m. Dec. 5 by Kimberly Lenz, PharmD, an assistant professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and a clinical pharmacy manager in the Office of Clinical Affairs; and Donna M. Faber, PharmD, BCPS, a clinical consultant pharmacist in Clinical Pharmacy Services. The pair will analyze pediatric behavioral health medication prescribing trends, describe the Massachusetts Medicaid program’s management approach to address pediatric behavioral health medication utilization concerns, and determine the pharmacist’s role in addressing complex patient cases.

UMass Medical School worked with MassHealth, Massachusetts’ Medicaid program, to develop the Pediatric Behavioral Health Medication Initiative, which established guidelines for behavioral health medications and polypharmacy, and requires prior authorizations under certain guidelines.

“The Opioid Epidemic: Regulatory Steps and Public Health Concerns” will be presented at 2:15 p.m. Dec. 6 by Lenz and Tyson Thompson, PharmD, a clinical consultant pharmacist in Clinical Pharmacy Services. They will outline the current opioid crisis, review the regulatory response, describe FDA guidelines on opioid labeling, analyze best practices and model polices opioid prescribing, and discuss insurers’ opioid management models.

As part of her faculty appointment in Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Medical School, Lenz will give lectures about pain management in the medical school’s Graduate School of Nursing. She also is a lecturer at MCPHS University.

Clinical Pharmacy Services and the Office of Clinical Affairs are working toward solutions to the opioid epidemic through managing appropriate access to opioids. Strategies include establishing an opioid management multidisciplinary work group, developing evidence-based guidelines, serving on government and trade association task forces and sharing best practices. 

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