Dr. Noushin Khoiny discusses new California laws and how they will impact primary health care provider prescribing practices
Long Beach, California, Oct. 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Noushin Khoiny gave a talk on Senate Bill No. 1109 and Assembly Bill No. 2760 to her students this week who are studying to become primary health care providers. Both bills became effective earlier this year. Why are these laws so important? Because we currently have an opioid epidemic in California and these laws aim to decrease addiction to opioids and opioid overdose deaths. There were nearly 20 million prescriptions for opioid drugs and more than 2,000 opioid overdose deaths last year in California according to the California Department of Public Health.
Senate Bill No. 1109 mandates that nurse practitioners spend a minimum of 3 hours learning the pharmacology about Schedule II Controlled Substances and risks of addiction during their nurse practitioner educational program or via an approved continuing education course. This law also impacts newly licensed physicians and surgeons who acquire their California medical license on or after January 1, 2019 as they too are mandated to complete continuing medical education requirements about Schedule II Controlled Substances and risks of addiction.
Assembly Bill No. 2760 also impacts prescribing practices in California. Clinicians who prescribe high dosages of opioids (90 or more morphine milligram equivalents per day) or prescribe opioids to a patient who is at high risk for overdose must also offer a prescription for naloxone—the opioid overdose antidote. This law also requires that clinicians educate their patients on overdose prevention and the use of naloxone for treatment of respiratory depression from an opioid overdose.
“Knowledge is power and there needs to be more education about addiction to opioid medications and adverse effects from these drugs,” says Dr. Noushin Khoiny, a faculty member at California State University, Long Beach. “It is not only important to better educate prescribers in California, but patients too. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce addiction to opiates and prevent opioid overdose deaths.”