UMass Medical School pharmacists to lead discussions on opioid epidemic, cystic fibrosis at AMCP 2017 Annual Meeting

February 22, 2017

Clinical pharmacists from UMass Medical School will present on a novel approach to opioid addiction treatment as well as cystic fibrosis treatment advances at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting 2017 March 27-29 in Denver, Colorado.

The number of unintentional overdose deaths from prescription pain relievers has quadrupled since 1999, with an estimated 2.1 million people suffering from opioid addiction. The surge is attributed, in part, to a marked increase of opioid prescriptions, making the monitoring of overuse critically important.

“Tackling the Opioid Epidemic and Addiction Treatment: A Managed Care Approach,” will be presented from 2:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. on March 28 by Kimberly Lenz, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacy Manager in the Office of Clinical Affairs, and Tyson Thompson, PharmD, a clinical consultant pharmacist in Clinical Pharmacy Services.

The presentation will highlight an innovative, multidisciplinary team method used by a Medicaid program to manage opioids with clinically valuable interventions at the prescriber level. There will also be a discussion of preliminary results, which show a decrease in inappropriate opioid prescribing.

Lenz will summarize recommendations from the AMCP Addiction Treatment Advisory Group, which she helped develop as a member of the group. Suggestions for how managed care organizations can enhance access to substance abuse treatment were outlined in a December report.

Lenz and Thompson draw upon their work for MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program, when presenting on opioid treatment options. Lenz is responsible for the development and oversight of clinical initiatives for MassHealth, including the management of pain, substance use disorder, hepatitis C virus, and pediatric behavioral health. Thompson is a member of the High Dose Opioid Therapeutic Class Management Workgroup for MassHealth and is involved in the management of the MassHealth pain initiative.

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a costly disease state for the healthcare system and takes a clinical and emotional toll on patients and caregivers. An array of novel therapies targeting underlying genetic mutations have been discovered, with a few agents already available on the market.

“Advancements in the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis: From Targeting Symptoms to Targeting Genes”  will be presented from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on March 29 by Karen Stevens, PharmD, Clinical Consultant Pharmacist in Clinical Pharmacy Services.

The presentation will provide an overview of CF, current management strategies recommended to improve outcomes for CF patients, and inform payers about the specialty drugs in the pharmaceutical pipeline for the management of CF.

To learn more about the annual meeting and for full session information, visit the AMCP annual meeting website

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