A clinical pharmacy manager from UMass Medical School will discuss appropriately balancing access to opioids with the need to guard against abuse and misuse at The Safe Prescribing and Dispensing Conference hosted by Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey March 14 in Randolph, Massachusetts.
Doctors wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012— enough to give every American adult in the country a bottle, compared to just 76 million in 1991. The dramatic increase in scripts has been linked to record high addiction and overdose rates. Forty-six people die from a prescription painkiller overdose every day.
Kimberly Lenz, PharmD, Clinical Pharmacy Manager in the Office of Clinical Affairs, will co-lead a presentation, “Insurance Coverage: Finding the Appropriate Balance,” from 10-11:00 a.m. In addition to Dr. Lenz, presenters include Barbara Henry, RPh, Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Tom Kowalski, RPh, Director of Clinical Pharmacy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
During the discussion, Lenz will cover a variety of topics, including how benefit design can discourage the overuse of opioids, how partnering can improve patient outcomes, and the limitations of management, including cash payments for opioids. She will also identify coverage choices for alternative therapy (physical therapy, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy) for pain.
Lenz serves as the Clinical Pharmacy Manager for MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program. She is responsible for the development and oversight of MassHealth clinical initiatives that address the management of opioids, substance use disorder, Hepatitis C, and pediatric behavioral health. She is a member of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review's New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council and the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s Addiction Treatment Advisory Group.
The Safe Prescribing and Dispensing Conference at Lombardo’s is free and open to those who prescribe (MD, DO, DMD, NP, PA) or dispense medicine in Norfolk County.