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CMS introduces new Part D opioid safety policies

Washington — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have introduced new Medicare Part D opioid safety policies to help reduce prescription opioid misuse.

In a March 28 blog post, CMS said, the new policies are not “one size fits all,” and are “deliberately tailored to address distinct populations of Medicare Part D prescription opioid users.” The policies do not apply to residents of long-term care facilities, beneficiaries receiving end-of-life care or beneficiaries being treated for cancer-related pain, the agency noted.

The new policies include improved safety alerts at pharmacies for Part D beneficiaries filling their initial opioid prescription and those who are receiving high doses of prescription opioids.

CMS said the new policies also permit Part D plans to put drug management programs in place to help beneficiaries use opioids and other frequently abused medications safely. 

For more information, including a roadmap and training materials for prescribers, visit