CME requirements for maintaining the ability to prescribe opioids in Alabama

Alabama remains at the top of the list for opioid prescriptions per 100 residents. To inform prescribers about issues involved in prescribing controlled substances, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners & Medical License Commission of Alabama added an ongoing CME requirement to its initial certificate requirement. All Alabama Controlled Substances Certificate holders are now required to obtain two (2) AMA PRA Category 1 (TM) credits or equivalent every two years in the areas of:
  • Controlled substance prescribing practices,
  • Recognizing signs of the abuse or misuse of controlled substances, or
  • Controlled substance prescribing for chronic pain management.

Neither MASA nor ABLME have specific documentation or review requirements to determine that an activity meets this requirement. They only require that it can be categorized in one of the 3 areas noted above and suggest that the name be descriptive and refer to one of those three areas. The UAB Division of Continuing Medical Education is happy to provide review services to ensure that any education that you intend to offer fits these requirements.
Here are some additional sources for obtaining the required CME credit:
      • The UAB Office of CME offers two online courses developed by UAB faculty that qualify (listed under the Pain Management tab).
      • The office of disease prevention and health promotion offers a 1-hour course that is currently  free 1hr until February 2020
      • The Medical Association of the State of Alabama (MASA) offers courses on prescribing opioids and pain management. Courses are free to members, and are offered to non-members for $30-55/ for 0.5hrs.
      • UpToDate offers courses on these subject areas and UAB physicians can create a personal account at no cost through UAB Lister Hill Library and track CME completion.
      • The American College of Physicians' learning center offers courses on a range of related subjects, including articles on naloxone, marijuana, and buprenorphine. These units are free to members, and cost $20 for non-members.

Additional Resources
Opioid Abuse in Chronic Pain — Misconceptions and Mitigation Strategies - NEJM, March 31, 2016
Alabama Board of Medical Examiners FAQ on prescribing controlled substances