Metro Drug Coalition’s
Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force
Who We Are
MDC’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force is a multidisciplinary stakeholder group comprised of leaders from the Knoxville Academy of Medicine, state and local law enforcement leaders, addiction treatment experts, hospital representatives, pharmacists, UT College of Nursing, TeamHealth, HealthCare 21 Business Coalition, Tennessee Department of Health, Knox County State Representatives, and other concerned citizens.
When We Began
The group formed in 2013, as an effort to bring law enforcement and medical leaders together to address the prescription drug epidemic in the greater Knoxville area.
When We Meet
The group meets monthly (usually the 3rd Monday of every month) from 6:00-7:30 p.m.
- First and foremost, the group has brought everyone on the same page and created an opportunity to share challenges across disciplines.
- In 2014, instrumental in passing two laws: an ID bill and naloxone by prescription for lay persons.
- In 2015, instrumental in passing two laws: pain clinic bill to raise the standards of care and Good Samaritan to encourage persons to render aide to an individual suffering from an overdose. Also supported the repeal of the Intractable Pain Treatment Act.
- In 2016, instrumental in passing or supporting five laws: pain clinic bill to strengthen requirements of a medical director, licensure of outpatient buprenorphine clinics, licensure of pain clinics, Prescription Safety Act of 2016, sunset of the fetal assault law passed in 2014.
- Saw a 25% decrease (highest in the state) in Milligram Morphine Equivalents (MME) prescribed in Knox County between 2014 and 2015.
- Provided continuing medical education for prescribers on an annual basis.
- Worked with Senator Lamar Alexander’s office on removing the pain questions from the financial formulary from patient satisfaction survey scores required by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- In 2016, became the “Action Team” for the opioid reduction efforts of the Knoxville/Knox County/Town of Farragut’s community health council.
- In 2016, a partnership was established with the Knoxville Academy of Medicine Alliance to provide additional education and outreach.
- In 2016, an action plan was created to drive the work of the team going forward.
Community Health Council’s Opioid Abuse Action Team
MDC’s Prescription Drug Task Force has been chosen as the Knoxville Community Health Council’s Opioid Abuse Action Team.
The following objectives have been chosen for our team to accomplish over three years.
- Decrease the mortality rate from unintentional poisoning by opioids in Knox County by 10%, or six people, by December 2018.
- Decrease the amount of opioid drugs that are legally dispensed in Knox County by 20% by December 2018.
- Decrease the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in Knox County by 20%, or 20 births, by August 2018.