Express Scripts Announces Restrictions to Fight Opioid Epidemic

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Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager, has announced restrictions to help fight the opioid epidemic. These new policies will limit the amount and type of opioids patients can receive. For example, a patient who has their wisdom teeth removed will get a 7-day supply of painkillers no matter what their surgeon prescribes. Also, patients will receive short-acting versions of pain pills rather than long-acting versions.

If the same patient who underwent oral surgery goes back to the doctor a week or two later for another prescription, the request will trigger an Express Scripts pharmacist who has a specialty in neuroscience to call the patient to discuss the medication and its inherent risks.

“We can make a big impact,” said Snezana Mahon, a pharmacist and vice president of clinical product development for Express Scripts. “After studying these patients for a year, the results were pretty significant.”

If that same patient continues to seek an opioid medication, and reaches a certain dosage level, the patient’s doctor will get a call from Express Scripts to make sure the doctor is aware of the amount of opioids the patient has received.

To read the full story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, click here.

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