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Letters: CVS and opioids

November 06, 2017

Regarding the Oct. 2 ADA News article "ADA Commends CVS in Battling Opioid Epidemic," I appreciate that CVS Health implements measures to control opioid prescriptions as one method to constrain the opioid epidemic. Evidence has shown that improper opioid prescribing in the past is one of the major factors responsible for the crisis that we face today across this country.

The CVS Health program limits the specified supply and daily dosage of opioids at the time of dispensing if improperly written by the prescriber. The program also educates patients about the risk of dependence and addiction to opioids.

This "intrusion" by CVS into the doctor-patient relationship is advantageous to the patient when a dentist is writing inappropriate prescriptions of opioids for pain relief. The CVS program would not be necessary if the prescribing dentists adhered to safe prescribing practices for pain relief in the first place.

It is necessary that dentists as prescribers understand and apply the latest knowledge necessary when prescribing pain management medications associated with dental care.

David C. Averill, D.D.S.
Burlington, Vermont