Given their unique characteristics, long-term care residents should be exempt from new federal opioid guidelines, according to a letter from the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition.

The correspondence was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It notes the exclusion should apply to residents in skilled care and assisted living communities.

Strict packaging and delivery requirements strongly discourage abuse among this cohort. In addition, long-term care pharmacies must meet extensive and extended clinical requirements, the letter notes.

Moreover, few residents are in any condition to pharmacy shop. Compared to the general population they tend to have more medically-complex conditions, experience more pain, and often have conditions that undermine the use of opioid alternatives, the letter adds.