Newswise — CHICAGO – The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today announced the launch of its new Opioid Analgesic Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) continuing medical education (CME) course available online now or in person at ANESTHESIOLOGY 2019® in Orlando.  The free course will help physician anesthesiologists, and other pain management specialists and prescribers, mitigate the opioid crisis through education on appropriate prescribing, effectively counseling patients on safe use, best practices for managing pain and opioid alternatives.

“We are excited to provide health care professionals with a unique, interactive training to keep them current on the latest in pain medicine and allow them to implement safer strategies for pain management and opioid use,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “As experts in pain medicine, physician anesthesiologists have been at the forefront of implementing best practices to prevent opioid misuse and abuse. We have a responsibility to stay up to date and help ensure other health care providers have the knowledge to keep patients safe.”

Although short-term use of opioids can be effective when managed safely and the risks minimized, more than 2 million Americans abuse them, and on average, 130 Americans die every day of an opioid overdose. The surgical setting and other acute care settings are a unique opportunity to ensure patients receive appropriate pain care and education regarding opioids.

Many states now require that practicing clinicians earn continuing medical education credits on the topic of pain management and safer prescribing as part of their medical license renewal cycle.  Participants of ASA’s new course can choose from a variety of learning formats.  The course will be instructed by expert physician anesthesiologists who will provide background on the ins and outs of managing patients’ pain, present and discuss patient cases, and walk through a patient/caregiver interview.

Course topics will include:

  • Concepts of pain management and addiction medicine.
  • Pain treatment plans – both opioid and non-opioid related approaches.
  • Assessing patients’ risk for abuse and addiction.
  • State and federal opioid prescribing regulations.
  • Strategies to effectively initiate, modify or discontinue opioids, and counsel patients and caregivers about the safe use of opioids and naloxone, a medication that rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose.

The online course is available now through Dec. 31, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. CST by visiting Participants will earn up to 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and ABA MOCA Part II credit.¹ The course will also be available for “live learning” via a 3-hour session, Saturday, Oct. 19, during ANESTHESIOLOGY 2019® in Orlando. 

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires the Opioid Analgesic REMS Program Companies (RPC), manufacturers of opioids, to distribute grants to accredited CME providers to educate health care practitioners, who are involved in the management, treatment or monitoring of patients with pain, on the dangers of opioids. The funds and educational activities are intended to support other national and state efforts to reduce the risk of abuse, misuse, addiction, overdose and deaths due to prescription opioids. The ASA’s course is supported by an independent educational grant from the RPC, and based on the FDA’s Opioid Analgesic REMS Blueprint, which contains a high-level outline of the core educational messages to be included in educational programs and materials developed under the Opioid Analgesic REMS



Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.

For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter.


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¹The ASA designates this activity for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Maintenance of Certification in AnesthesiologyTM program and MOCA® are registered trademarks of The American Board of Anesthesiology®. MOCA 2.0® is a trademark of the American Board of Anesthesiology®.

This activity contributes to the patient safety CME requirement for the CME component of the American Board of Anesthesiology’s (ABA) redesigned Maintenance of Certification in AnesthesiologyTM (MOCA®) program, known as MOCA 2.0®. Please consult the ABA website,, for a list of all MOCA 2.0 requirements.