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Important Information

from the State Medical Board of Ohio

National Transportation Safety Board's Safety Recommendations for Health Care Providers

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is asking health care providers across the country to counsel their patients regarding the effect medication use may have on their ability to safely operate a vehicle.


The use of over-the-counter (OTC), prescription, and illicit drugs is increasing in the US population. The NTSB is concerned about the possible safety implications of increased drug use in all modes of transportation, but data about drug use by vehicle operators is limited to a small proportion of operators and a short list of drugs. Therefore, NTSB did a study of airline pilots and accidents- a mode of transportation where there was a substantial data set available. The findings of that study prompted the NTSB to reach out to prescribers across the country.


NTSB urges prescribers to highlight the importance of routinely discussing with patients the effect their diagnosed medical conditions or recommended drugs may have on their ability to safely operate a vehicle in any mode of transportation.


In addition, the NTSB has asked regulatory boards to incorporate reminders about these important discussions with patients in prescribing guidelines. The State Medical Board of Ohio’s resolution was adopted on June 13, 2018:


Resolution: Guideline for Patient Discussion Regarding Vehicle Operation When Prescribing Controlled Substances for Pain

Adopted June 13, 2018

The Board hereby makes the following recommendation to our licensed health care providers when prescribing controlled substances for pain. It is recommended that the prescribers licensed by the Board inform the patient of the effect the patient’s medication may have on the patient’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. This recommendation is consistent with the National Transportation Safety Board Safety Recommendation, I-14-1 and I-14-2.


NTSB an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation to determine the probable cause of the accidents. In consideration of investigative findings, the NTSB issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents and saving lives.


Click here for a link to the resolution.


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