States' New Opioid Limits Being Met With Some Resistance
This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. For governors and lawmakers in nearly every state, the soaring overdose death toll from prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl has become an urgent priority. Lawmakers in dozens of states took decisive action this year to stanch the flow of prescription pain drugs and help those addicted to them. Roughly 2.5 millionAmericans are addicted to opioids, and more than 28,000 people died of overdosesof painkillers or heroin in 2014, the highest toll ever. To keep even more people from becoming addicted to medicines such as Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin, lawmakers in five states set limits on the number of pills a physician can prescribe to a patient for the first time. Twenty-nine states beefed up monitoring of filled prescriptions to prevent addicts from “doctor shopping” for more pills. Sixteen states expanded the use of naloxone, an overdose antidote drug few lawmakers had heard of just a year ago. And at least nine states adopted requirements that Medicaid and other insurers pay for all medically recommended addiction services, just as they would for other diseases, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Among lawmakers, governors and the medical community, there is broad support for measures aimed at rescuing people from fatal overdoses...
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