On Nov. 14,
Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA) announced that his administration
would be seeking to enact state legislation titled An Act Relative to Combating Addiction,
Accessing Treatment, Reducing Prescriptions and Enhancing Prevention (CARE Act). The proposed bill would
establish a commission to review and make recommendations about appropriate
prescribing practices related to certain oral and maxillofacial surgical
procedures, including the removal of wisdom teeth. The commission would also
engage with drug manufacturers to create a pre-packaged product, such as a blister pack or z-pack, to be used with common oral and maxillofacial
surgical procedures. The product will provide
patients with an appropriate, standard post-procedure dosage and quantity of
commonly prescribed drugs.
Under the proposed
legislation, the commission will be comprised of the commissioner of public
health or a designee, who will serve as chair;
a representative from the Massachusetts Dental Society; and five persons appointed
by the governor. Of the five, one will be an
oral surgeon, one a nurse with expertise in maxillofacial surgical procedures,
one will represent a dental school, and two with expertise in pain management.
In addition, the proposed
legislation also requires that by 2020 all prescribers must convert to secure
electronic prescriptions and cease the use of oral and paper prescriptions when
prescribing regulated drugs.