Final Report on Opioid Dependence Now Available

CEPAC has released a final evidence report on management options for patients with opioid dependence. The final report incorporates findings from a recent public meeting of the New England CEPAC, where council members reviewed evidence on the effectiveness and value of different management approaches for opioid dependence and made recommendations to guide practice and policy.  The key findings of the review and votes of CEPAC found that treatment programs that use a medication like methadone to replace the opioid (a method known as maintenance therapy) are more effective than short-term managed withdrawal approaches that attempt to discontinue all opioid use (sometimes referred to as detoxification).  Short-term withdrawal management programs typically focus on weaning patients off opioids within a 30-day timeframe, while maintenance programs assume patients will remain on medication for longer periods of time.

The final report, titled “Management Options for Patients with Opioid Dependence,” compares common approaches to opioid dependence treatment. It offers insight into which management options provide the best outcomes for patients and how the options compare from a budget impact and cost-effectiveness perspective. The review focuses on three key pharmacologic interventions: methadone, buprenorphine/Suboxone®, and naltrexone.

Read the full press release here.

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Next CEPAC Meeting to Address Controversies in Type 2 Diabetes Management

The next New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC) meeting will assess the comparative effectiveness and value of management options for individuals with type 2 diabetes. The meeting will be held on October 29, 2014, in Providence, Rhode Island.  CEPAC’s public deliberation of the evidence will provide clarity and guidance to patients, clinicians, insurers, and policymakers confronted with decisions on how best to manage type 2 diabetes.

Meeting Details

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM ET
Brown University
Petteruti Lounge
75 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912


Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting must register by noon on October 28, 2014 by visiting here. The draft evidence report that will form the basis of the CEPAC meeting will be posted to the CEPAC website on or about September 22, 2014. The CEPAC website also includes instructions for those wishing to submit written comments on the draft report ahead of time, and those requesting the opportunity to make public comments at the meeting.

Approximately 30 million Americans have diabetes, of which 95% have the type 2 form. In 2012, the annual cost of managing diabetes was estimated to total $245 billion, including both direct medical costs as well as lost productivity resulting from complications (CDC, 2014).  Numerous methods for treating and managing diabetes are available, including devices for blood glucose monitoring, oral medications, and various types of insulin. Insulin use has increased among individuals with type 2 diabetes, with many patients relying on newer, more costly types of insulin (Lipska et al., 2014). Additionally, supplies and equipment for self-monitoring of blood glucose have become increasingly expensive.  The New England CEPAC process will address important questions regarding the comparative effectiveness and comparative value of the different treatment approaches and new management strategies.


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What to do about America’s growing opiate dependence? – AcademyHealth Blog

In a recent blog post on AcademyHealth, CEPAC member Dr. Austin Frakt discusses the growing opioid abuse problem in the U.S. and CEPAC’s upcoming meeting on June 20th that will discuss this topic and ways evidence can be applied to policy and practice to improve the quality and value of health care services for patients with opioid dependence.  Read the post here.

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