State, National Agencies Clarify MME Prescribing Calculations

February 7, 2018 

One of the unintended consequences of implementation of the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Chronic Pain was that some may have included buprenorphine for the treatment of substance use disorder in calculations for Morphine Milligram Equivalents (MME).

The CDC guideline, in fact, made clear that dosage thresholds in the Guideline were not meant to and should not apply to dosing of opioid agonists/partial agonists used for the treatment of opioid use disorder. CDC has further clarified this in a letter to the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

The Tennessee Department of Health is currently working to effect the change to milligrams instead of morphine milligram equivalents (MME) in the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database. The Department of Health is also reframing their internal reporting on buprenorphine to reflect milligram trends over time. These changes are expected to roll out in the coming weeks. TMA will provide further information as it becomes available.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Corredor, ASAM Director of Advocacy and Government Relations.