The Trump administration on Thursday announced new methods to fight opioid abuse through Medicare's drug plan.
The goal of the policies, announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is to better manage chronic overuse of opioids by creating better communication among patients, doctors, and insurers.
CMS plans to create a system under Medicare Part D to flag an opioid prescription when the pharmacist looks it up. The trigger would occur when the prescription exceeds the recommended guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Demetrios Kouzoukas, principal deputy administrator of CMS, told reporters Thursday.
The system would require the pharmacist to talk with the patient’s insurer and doctor about the need for the prescription.
“The plan, prescriber, and patient can all engage in a dialogue through a process designed to ensure the appropriate amount of opioids is getting prescribed,” Kouzoukas said.
Democrats have criticized the Trump administration, saying that it hasn’t done enough to combat the opioid epidemic. A group of Democrats called for Trump to renew an October emergency declaration on the opioid epidemic since it didn’t include new funding.