COPE-REMS guides providers in how to:

  • Recognize when it’s safe to prescribe opioids—how to start, stop or switch opioid therapies;
  • Communicate effectively when facing difficult situations with patients; 
  • Manage ongoing treatment plans by recognizing the risks associated with different opioid regimens and patient characteristics;
  • Document treatment and patient action plans, and counsel patients on how to safely use, store and dispose of opioid medications;
  • Discuss general and product-specific drug information concerning extended-release and long-acting opioids;
  • Treat chronic pain without promoting addiction.

COPE'S Approach

This self-paced course promotes a shared decision-making approach between providers and patients. It includes video vignettes of providers and patients that demonstrate how to handle tough situations; interactive exercises; practical tools and pharmacological information. Course content covers opioid safety requirements as described by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in its 2012 approval of a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for long-acting and extended-release opioids.

COPE Program Committee

Executive Director: Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, UW; Clinician, UW Center for Pain Relief.
Program Manager: Laura Cooley, MA
Continuing Education Coordinator: Rosemary Flannery, MA
Contributor: Brian Theodore, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, UW; and Assistant Director, Center for Pain Research on Impact, Measurement and Effectiveness (C-PRIME)


This educational activity is supported by an independent educational grant from the ER/LA Opioid Analgesic REMS Program Companies. Please see for a listing of the member companies. This activity is intended to be fully compliant with the ER/LA Opioid Analgesic REMS education requirements issued by the US Food & Drug Administration. Copyright © 2015 University of Washington. All Rights Reserved.

The University of Washington School of Medicine also gratefully acknowledges past educational grant support for this activity from Pfizer, Inc.; Mallinckrodt, Inc., a Covidien Company; and Endo Pharmaceuticals. Copyright © 2014 University of Washington. All Rights Reserved.

COPE was originally developed by Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, with assistance from Barak Gaster, MD. Copyright © 2006 University of Washington. All Rights Reserved. Its development was supported by grants from the Greenwall Foundation, Aetna Inc, Ortho-McNeil®, and Johnson & Johnson.
The original COPE course was tested and proven effective in a clinical trial.*

Disclosure Policy and Information

The University of Washington School of Medicine endorses the Standards of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the guidelines of the Association of American Colleges that the sponsors of continuing medical education activities and their planners and speakers disclose significant relationships with commercial companies whose products or services are discussed in educational presentations. Significant relationships include receiving from a commercial company research grants, consultancies, honoraria and travel, or other benefits or having a self-managed equity interest in a company. Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone bias in any presentation, but is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.

The following individuals report no relevant financial relationships:
Laura Cooley, MA; Rosemary Flannery, MA; Brian Theodore, PhD

The following individuals disclose one or more financial relationships in the last 12 months:
Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, Advisory Committee/Review Panel: Janssen


The University of Washington School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The University of Washington School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Obtaining CME Credit

To obtain CME course credit, course participants must complete a post-test and pass with a score of 80% or better (20 out of 25). They will then receive a printable certificate.


Technical Requirements

Click here for a list of the technical requirements for this online course

Privacy and Confidentiality

Click here for the University of Washington's Policy on Privacy and Confidentiality

Terms and Conditions

Click here for the University of Washington's Terms and Conditions of Use

The COPE-REMS CME course was renewed for CME credit from April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016.


Please send all inquiries about course content to:

Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD, COPE Executive Director
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
University of Washington
Box 356560
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: (206) 685-3184
Fax: (206) 221-5414
Or email:


For issues with your CME Certificate, please contact the University of Washington’s Training Xchange at:

For technical questions please contact Training Xchange support at

*This course is free of charge.

  1. Clinical Journal of Pain Vol. 26, No. 6, July/Aug. 2010.

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