AG Grewal Announces Action to Reduce Risk of Fatal Overdoses During COVID-19 Crisis Administrative Order from Division of Consumer Affairs Requires NJ Practitioners to Co-Prescribe Naloxone to Certain At-Risk Opioid Patients During COVID-19 Emergency

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies (“NJ CARES”), and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that New Jersey physicians, dentists, and other healthcare practitioners who prescribe opioids for the management of chronic pain must also prescribe the opioid antidote naloxone to certain at-risk patients during the COVID-19 crisis.

Under an Administrative Order issued today, prescribers must co-prescribe naloxone to any patient continuously receiving opioids for chronic pain management if the patient has one or more prescriptions totaling 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) or more per day, or is concurrently taking an opioid and a benzodiazepine. These patients face heightened risk of a fatal overdose.

The Administrative Order aligns with a rule proposed by the State Board of Medical Examiners on April 6, 2020. That proposed rule, published in the New Jersey Register on April 6, 2020, is open for public comment until June 5, 2020.

The Administrative Order also applies to prescribers licensed by the State Boards of Dentistry, Nursing and Optometrists. These Boards have approved proposed amendments to their rules that are substantively identical to the co-prescribing rule proposed by the State Board of Medical Examiners but have not yet published the proposals in the New Jersey Register.

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