C.A.R.E.S. Alliance Launches Tools to Fight Pain Medication Misuse
The free resources offered through the C.A.R.E.S. Alliance promote safety in prescribing, dispensing, using, storing and disposing of these commonly abused pain medications.
Developed in consultation with pain experts through a scientific process, the resources include a variety of safe-use programs, tools and educational materials intended for patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and communities.
The C.A.R.E.S. Alliance tools and materials were developed through a Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA), a scientific methodology to identify where problems occur in the use of pain medications and the underlying causes of those problems.
FMEA research presented at PAINWeek identified 79 failure modes - or areas where problems occur - in the use of opioids and 290 potential underlying causes of those failures. Based on those causes, 929 potential interventions were identified, leading to the development of 37 initial tools out of the 60 total that will eventually be available through the C.A.R.E.S. Alliance.
More than 20 tools are currently available for access at www.caresalliance.org. These tools include clinical materials and risk assessments for physicians, safe-use guides for patients and general education related to safe and responsible opioid prescribing for all groups.
As the C.A.R.E.S. Alliance expands, it will seek input from members and will offer additional tools, programs and research aimed at improving the science of safety for opioids.
Jeffrey Gudin, managing director of pain management and addiction expert at the Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, said: “As healthcare professionals, we need to do a better job of assessing our patients pain medication needs and of communicating the risks of the medications we prescribe.
“Through the resources of the C.A.R.E.S. Alliance, patients, caregivers and health professionals will have access to information, tools and resources to help them better understand these risks and better ensure that the medications are used properly by only those for whom they are prescribed.”
Herbert Neuman, managing director and vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer of pharmaceuticals at Covidien, said: “Chronic pain affects tens of millions of people in America. Prescription pain medications can help chronic pain sufferers maintain their ability to work and function, but these drugs also can be very dangerous if they are not used properly.
“We want to make sure patients and physicians not only understand the importance of these medications for providing pain relief, but also comprehend the very real risks these medications carry. Proper steps must be taken to ensure the safety of patients and their families.”
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