As detailed in this article from the May issue of Network Matters, Harvard Pilgrim encourages providers to issue accompanying prescriptions for appropriate naloxone products to patients who are prescribed opioids and display factors that increase the risk of overdose, such as a history of substance abuse.
The newly approved narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) nasal spray is covered with no member cost share and is simple to use in the case of an emergency. Its effectiveness and ease of use present a tremendous advantage in the emergency treatment of known or suspected overdose.
The American Academy of Pain Management recently issued a statement for providers who prescribe opioids that recommends conducting comprehensive assessments of overdose risk in patients who are prescribed opioids, discussing appropriate use of opioid analgesics with them, and offering an accompanying prescription for an FDA-approved naloxone product.
In their 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommended issuing naloxone prescriptions when factors exist that increase the risk of overdose, such as history of overdose, history of substance use disorder, opioid doses higher than 50 MME per day, or concurrent benzodiazepine use.