May 2016 Issue
April 22, 2016

Health advocate: Changes in opioid rules

Source: NYSUT United

On March 15, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) presented new guidelines regarding the use of opioid drugs like Oxycodone, Percocet and Vicodin for the treatment of noncancerous, routine painful conditions. The CDC is calling for the use of non-opioid drugs like ibuprofen and acetaminophen whenever possible. If a provider prescribes opioids, the CDC recommends low doses and no more than a one-week supply. Currently, many primary care doctors write opioid prescriptions for up to 30 days.

Although these new federal guidelines are nonbinding, if followed they could combat the growing problem of opioid and heroin addictions, which have resulted in significant drug deaths nationwide.

As of March 27, New York State requires electronic prescribing of both controlled and noncontrolled prescription drugs. Paper prescriptions will not be accepted except in rare cases. This is to prevent medication errors, forgery and theft.

— Susan Klug

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