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    Navy Medicine Significantly Reduces Opioid Prescriptions for Sailors, Marines and Families

    NMCCL Pharmacy Named Navy's Pharmacy Team of the Year

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Molina | A Pharmacy Technician at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune selects a medication from a...... read more read more



    Story by Angela Ciancio 

    U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery

    After years of work, Navy Medicine achieved a 44% decrease in opioid prescriptions for Sailors, Marines and families between the years of 2013 and 2018, with 15% of the decrease taking place in 2017 and 2018 alone.

    “This is a milestone achievement,” said Deputy Surgeon General, Rear Adm. Terry J. Moulton. “We are a couple steps closer in our work to reduce the opioid crisis, and we won’t stop the hard work yet.”

    Prior to the crisis, prescribing opioids was standard practice for controlling moderate to severe pain. Research and substantial evidence of addiction and overdose, including many deaths has forced the health care industry, including Navy Medicine, to rethink the way opioids are used and prescribed.

    Using research, Navy Medicine instituted several programs and changes to decrease the overall number of opioid prescriptions and better monitor patients on long-term opioid therapy.

    One such program signed March 14, 2018, by Rear Adm. Moulton, was the long-term opioid therapy safety program instruction. This instruction established policies and training designed to enhance the safety of long-term opioid therapy patients.

    Navy Medicine also implemented the Navy’s Comprehensive Pain Management Program (NCPMP) that supports the readiness mission by ensuring active duty Sailors, Marines and their families are receiving the appropriate level of care. The program also ensures those individuals have alternative pharmacologic treatment to ensure improved qualities of life.

    Between 2017 and 2018 long-term opioid therapy patients saw a 24% reductions of opioid prescriptions at seven Navy military treatment facilities.

    The NCPMP continues to proactively mitigate the risks of opioid use for patients suffering from chronic pain. Through the long-term opioid therapy safety initiative, the NCPMP has employed a strategic approach to address the challenges posed by pain.

    Navy has not identified a broader opioid abuse problem within its patient population. In 2015 and 2016, opioid misuse among active duty service members was 7.5 to 10 times lower than the rate of the general U.S. population.

    Navy Medicine is a global health care network of 63,000 personnel that provides health care support to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, their families and veterans in high operational tempo environments at expeditionary medical facilities, medical treatment facilities, hospitals, clinics, hospital ships and research units around the world.



    Date Taken: 11.26.2019
    Date Posted: 11.26.2019 13:17
    Story ID: 353533
    Location: FALLS CHURCH , VA, US 

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