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Does Proposed Opioid Prescribing Legislation Go Too Far?

Fraser Cobbe

Orange County Medical Society

Seminole County Medical Society

In recent years, physician organizations, community treatment centers, elected officials, law enforcement and many others have come together to address the opioid crisis in communities across the nation. Orange County led a similar effort over the past year with a comprehensive set of recommendations emerging from the task force co-chaired by Mayor Jacobs and Sheriff Demings.

The need to limit prescriptions of opioids is widely accepted and supported by the medical profession as being an important factor in limiting addiction and abuse. However, physicians continue to express concern over the unintended consequences of being so restrictive in our efforts to address the crisis that we may jeopardize the ability of patients with legitimate needs to secure opioid treatment.

Legislative language has recently emerged in Tallahassee that would prohibit a physician from writing an initial opioid prescription for more than 5-days regardless of patient need or circumstance. The proposed legislation does not provide any avenue for a treating physician to use their best medical judgment and the best interests of their patient to deviate from this restriction. The limitation would apply in all instances including after a traumatic incident or scheduled surgery.

Debate on the Floor of the House of Representatives was intense this past week as members weighed the benefits of the proposal in limiting addiction versus the strict regulation of physician decision-making.

Sound Off

Our organizations want to hear from physicians about your concerns with this proposal and any impact it may have on the physician-patient relationship?

Click here to sound off and submit your thoughts.

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