The North Carolina Payers Council, a group of public and private health care payers formed as part of Governor Roy Cooper’s 2017 North Carolina Opioid Action Plan to identify, align and implement policies to combat the opioid crisis, today released a report that identifies a five-pronged approach to address the epidemic.

The approach includes:

  1. Limiting strength and duration of opioid-related medications and promoting opioid-sparing pain treatment
  2. Decreasing barriers to the opioid reversal drug naloxone
  3. Providing access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder
  4. Using data analysis and surveillance to inform best practices
  5. Supporting healthcare provider, pharmacist and patient education on safe opioid prescribing, pain management and substance use

“Too many people are dying. Too many families and loved ones in North Carolina are facing the heartbreak of loss,” said State Health Director and Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Tilson, M.D., MPH, who chaired the council. “The Payers Council worked to identify tangible things that payers can change as we seek ways to prevent opioid use disorders, move people toward needed treatment and reduce deaths. This work can also be an example for other states seeking ways to fight this epidemic.”

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