New Laws in NJ Regarding Doctor Distribution of Prescription Drugs
Angelo Valente, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ, and Christopher Jakim, Assistant Special Agent in charge of the New Jersey Office of the Drug Enforcement Agency, talk about the latest news regarding the opioid crisis in New Jersey. They also discuss new laws in the state regarding doctor distribution of prescription drugs to patients.
"State of Affairs is pleased to welcome, once again, Angelo Valente, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, and Christopher Jakim is Assistant Special Agent, in charge of Drug Enforcement Administration's New Jersey Division. Good to see you guys. Good to see you Steve. Andrew, we've done this before. Yes. We've talked before in forums, if you will, Chris, on the subject. Where are we right now with the opioid crisis in the state of New Jersey? Well, I think we're making tremendous strides. I mean we have been able to bring this epidemic to the public light. People are aware of it. And then we've made some legislative strides that have also been really helpful. The biggest? I think the biggest was limiting the supply of medication to a five day maximum for a first prescription. And also the notification. The fact now that patients that are leaving doctor's offices are going to be aware of the addictive qualities of the drugs, and also what alternatives might be available that are non-opioid. Chris, we've been at this before. You see it from another perspective. How concerned, how aware do you think the public is at this point as to how serious this crisis truly is? I think that awareness piece continues to grow, and we've been doing great efforts on trying to promote that and get the word out. From the medical community, doctors' awareness as far as their role in this epidemic, their prescribing habits, their ability to talk to their patients about the addictive nature of the opioids that they're prescribing. The Do No Harms that we partnered up with the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey has addressed over 3,200 doctors throughout the state of New Jersey. This is a symposium that we started back in October of 2013, and it's had great success to look at the outcome of what the doctors are saying after they've attended these symposiums. Do you see big changes in doctors? We've had this discussion before Angelo. Yeah. And early on, I was like, "Well, they're not as onboard as we'd like them to be." Five years later, if we start at these forums, where are we? I think we see a tremendous shift. For a number of reasons. First of all, the CDC has provided guidelines. And these guidelines are... The Centers for Disease Control? ...Disease Control. Why are they relevant in this discussion? Well they're relevant because they have provided empirical evidence about what needs to be done in order to address the epidemic and reverse the epidemic. And what..."