Can Changes to Rx Labels & Other Public Standards Help Tame the Opioid Crisis

USP, a long-time representative on the NCPIE board of directors, recently convened a roundtable to explore strategies to protect the public’s health, as well as assist first-responders and healthcare providers. The roundtable gathered additional input and feedback about these strategies. The four approaches being developed are:

  1. Recommendations for effectively and safely storing and disposing of opioid prescriptions in order to help prevent misuse, including how this information should be communicated;
  2. Clear prescription label information to ensure patients understand that a prescribed drug is an opioid and can be addictive;
  3. Easy-to-follow instructions for using naloxone, so that first responders and others (including family, friends, and others who may not be trained healthcare providers) can quickly understand when and how to administer this life-saving antidote; and
  4. New standards for healthcare providers to counsel patients about appropriate use of prescription opioids and how to avoid misuse.

In the coming months, USP will release a report based on these discussions which will inform the work of USP’s Healthcare Quality and Safety Expert Committee, whose members have been developing the concepts discussed at the roundtable. All proposed new or revised standards will be open to public comment for 90 days.