Implementation of an Opioid Management Initiative by a State Medicaid Program

Thursday, May 1, 2014
Implementation of an Opioid Management Initiative by a State Medicaid Program
Maria Garcia, MD, MPH
Commonwealth Medicine
Kimberly Lenz, PharmD
Commonwealth Medicine
Paul L. Jeffrey, PharmD
Commonwealth Medicine

This article examines the impact of a 2-year stepwise initiative to reduce utilization and therapy costs of long-acting opioid analgesics (LAOA) by addressing issues of high dose, daily dose, and preferred therapeutic alternatives. The study successfully demonstrated that a state Medicaid program initiative can result in a significant overall decrease in opioid class utilization specifically for the targeted, more costly agents. This was achieved via the implementation of a Therapeutic Class Management multidisciplinary workgroup that established a prior authorization process implementing limits on dose, as well as identified preferred less costly agents. It further facilitated the direct opportunity for pharmacy-prescriber collaboration for LAOA medication management.