Minnesota is currently experiencing opioid overdose deaths at an epidemic level. A Star Tribune analysis of state death certificate data found 402 opioid-related deaths in 2016, up from 344 in 2015. View the latest statistics at the Minnesota Department of Health’s Opioid Dashboard here: MDH Opioid Dashboard.
Starting from the beginning with safe prescribing of opioids is the most important step. Below are some resources to help providers be safe when prescribing opioids.
The MN Department of Health has implemented initiatives to increase access to naloxone for patients, including a protocol to be used by pharmacists to prescribe naloxone. Use this link to view more information and resources regarding Minnesota’s response to the opioid issue, including details on implementing the naloxone protocol under “Dispensing naloxone - pharmacists”
MPhA Members Laura Palombi and Heather Blu have created a naloxone training program for pharmacists that is available with no charge through the University of Minnesota. Access the program here.
Effective May 20, 2016, a pharmacy licensed by the Board and located in Minnesota may collect a legend drug from an “ultimate user” (i.e. from a member of the public), or from a long-term care facility on behalf of an ultimate user (i.e. patient or resident) who resides or resided at the long-term care facility, for the purpose of disposing of the legend drug as pharmaceutical waste. In order to collect drugs for disposal as pharmaceutical waste, a pharmacy must comply with U.S. Drug Enforcement (DEA) Regulations for the collection of controlled substances by pharmacies. A pharmacy must comply with those regulations for all drugs collected – even for non-controlled substances. In addition, pharmacies must comply with statutes and rules administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Pharmacies cannot begin collecting unwanted pharmaceuticals for disposal until they meet certain DEA and MPCA requirements. The Board worked with MPCA to develop a Guidance for Collecting Pharmaceuticals from Households and Long Term Care Facilities (LTCF). That document is now available on the MPCA Web site at:
**Legislative Day - February 5, 2019