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Carr Joins Bipartisan Letter Urging PBMs to Implement Opioid Mitigation Programs

October 20, 2017

ATLANTA, GA – Attorney General Chris Carr today joined with a bipartisan group of attorneys general from across the country in letters to 15 health care companies that provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services, encouraging the companies to implement programs to mitigate prescription opioid abuse. The attorneys general also sent a letter to the president and CEO of CVS Health Corporation applauding the company's recent program that automatically enrolled all commercial, health plan, employer and Medicaid clients in an opioid abuse mitigation program.

“The opioid epidemic is one of the greatest public health threats facing our country, one that took the lives of 982 Georgians just last year," said Attorney General Chris Carr. “It affects every state and has a devastating impact on our communities – tearing apart families and stretching the budgets of local law enforcement and first responders as they do the difficult work on the front lines. As part of our efforts, attorneys general are pooling resources and coordinating across party lines to address the crisis. We appreciate when groups, like CVS Health, continue to find innovative ways to help in this fight, and we are looking forward to learning more about what others are doing."

In their letters to the PBMs, the attorneys general asked that the companies adopt similar measures as CVS Health, including limiting to seven days the supply of opioids dispensed for certain acute prescriptions for patients who are new to the therapy, limiting the daily dosage of opioids dispensed based on the strength of the opioid and requiring the use of immediate-release formulations of opioids before extended-release opioids are dispensed. The CVS Health program's requirements are similar to the opioid prescribing guidelines recently issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

In addition to Georgia, those joining today's letters include attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The letters are attached.

letters to CVS and PMBs.pdf