The AMA joined the California Medical Association in urging (PDF) California Gov. Jerry Brown to sign Assembly Bill 1048. The legislation, based in part on an AMA model bill, can be "an important part of California's efforts to reverse opioid-related harms … [by helping] reduce and remove unused or unwanted opioid analgesics and other Schedule II controlled substances from the supply chain," wrote AMA CEO James L. Madara, MD.

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In addition to helping reduce the supply of Schedule II controlled substances that can be misused and diverted, partial fill legislation can help empower physicians and other health professionals to have meaningful discussions with patients about the expected duration of pain, and the risks and benefits of prescription opioids. It also would authorize patients to be able to request a lesser amount of a Schedule II controlled substance, which can help ensure that unwanted medications cannot be diverted.

Contact Daniel Blaney-Koen if your state would like to introduce this legislation. Please contact the CMA's Alecia Sanchez to learn more about AB 1048.

Effectively addressing the nation's opioid epidemic "will require strategies guided by science, not ideology," writes Sarah Wakeman, MD, in the September 2017 AMA Journal of Ethics®. In advocating for increased treatment for patients with a substance-use disorder while in prison, Dr. Wakeman's article, "Why It's Inappropriate Not to Treat Incarcerated Patients with Opioid Agonist Therapy," presents the clinical evidence base supporting opioid agonist therapy, as well as the objections and ethical and legal considerations.

A new webinar from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons provides attendees with information to help understand the perioperative management of neuropathic and nociceptive pain in neurosurgical patients, including in patients who are chronic opioid users. Recent opioid legislation and the implications of these new laws on opioid prescribing in neurosurgical practice also was provided in the webinar, "The Use of Opioids in Neurosurgical Practice: How to be Safe, Effective, and Compliant with New Prescribing Laws."

Both resources have been added to the AMA End the Epidemic opioid microsite.

Register for "The Use of Opioids in Neurosurgical Practice: How to be Safe, Effective and Compliant with New Prescribing Laws," a webinar taking place Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. EDT. In this 50-minute webinar, attendees will learn more about the perioperative management of neuropathic and nociceptive pain in neurosurgical patients, including in patients who are chronic opioid users.

Recent opioid legislation and the implications of these new laws on opioid prescribing in neurosurgical practice will also be reviewed. This webinar is hosted by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, both members of the AMA Opioid Task Force. The registration fee is $69 for AANS/CNS members and $119 for nonmembers. There will be 10 minutes for questions and answers after the session. The webinar is led by Christopher J. Winfree, MD; Steven M. Falowski, MD; Ellen L. Air, MD, PhD; and Jason M. Schwalb, MD.

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