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A Collaboration Between Government and the Continuing Education Community Tackles the Opioid Crisis

Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities

Kahn, Norman MD; Chappell, Kathy PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN; Regnier, Kate MA, MBA; Travlos, Dimitra V. PharmD; Auth, Doris PharmD

Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions: Winter 2019 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 58–63
doi: 10.1097/CEH.0000000000000231

Abstract: In 2016, 116 people died each day from opioid-related drug overdoses and in 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. During the preceding years, the continuing education (CE) accreditors in the health professions identified a need for a strategic, coordinated effort that would involve an interprofessional coalition of multiple stakeholders to respond to this emerging public health challenge. The Conjoint Committee on Continuing Education, a national coalition of organizations in the professions of medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, and physician assistants, stepped up to assume a leadership position. To address the scope of safety issues involved in opioids, the US Food and Drug Administration required that extended-release and long-acting opioid analgesic product manufacturers make training available to prescribers of their products and recommended that the training should be conducted by accredited, independent CE providers. CE accreditors in the health professions initiated an unprecedented collaboration that leveraged the accredited CE community to deliver prescriber education as part of the Food and Drug Administration Opioid Analgesics Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy. This article describes the history of this interprofessional collaboration including lessons learned and opportunities for future collaboration to address public health issues.

Dr. Kahn: Convener, Conjoint Committee on Continuing Education, Chicago, IL;

Dr. Chappell: Senior Vice President, Accreditation, Certification, Measurement, Quality, and Institute for Credentialing Research, American Nurses Credentialing Center, Silver Spring, MD;

Ms. Regnier: Executive Vice President, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, Chicago, IL;

Dr. Travlos: Assistant Executive Director and Director, Continuing Pharmacy Education Provider Accreditation, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, Chicago, IL; and

Dr. Auth: Associate Director, Division of Risk Management, Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology, CDER/FDA, Silver Spring, MD

Correspondence: Norman Kahn MD, Convener, Conjoint Committee on Continuing Education, 35 East Wacker Dr., Suite 850, Chicago, IL 60601-2106; e-mail:

Disclosures: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

N.K. served as Executive Vice-President and CEO, Council of Medical Specialty Societies; currently is Convener, Conjoint Committee on Continuing Education.

Received July 03, 2019

Accepted September 27, 2018

© 2019 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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