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New Limits on Prescription Opiates Will Save Lives and Fight Addiction

Source: Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction 

Ohio is updating its opiate prescribing policies for treating acute pain by giving them the force of law. The state began creating its voluntary guidelines in 2012, together with the medical community, even before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines last March. After close analysis of the state’s electronic prescribing data, Ohio will now take the next step to update its policies to place commonsense limits on opiate prescribing for acute pain. These improvements can lead to an estimated reduction of opiate doses in Ohio by 109 million per year while preserving the ability of clinicians to address pain in a competent and compassionate way.

Highlights of Ohio’s new opiate prescribing limits for acute pain include:

  1. No more than seven days of opiates can be prescribed for adults;
  2. No more than five days of opiates can be prescribed for minors;
  3. The total morphine equivalent dose (MED) of a prescription for acute pain cannot exceed an average of 30 MED per day;
  4. Health care providers can prescribe opiates in excess of the new limits only if they provide a specific reason in the patient’s medical record. Unless such a reason is given, a health care provider is prohibited from prescribing opiates that exceed Ohio’s limits;
  5. Prescribers will be required to include a diagnosis or procedure code on every controlled substance prescription, which will be entered into Ohio’s prescription monitoring program, OARRS;
  6. The new limits do not apply to opioids prescribed for cancer, palliative care, end-of-life/hospice care or medication-assisted treatment for addiction;
  7. The new limits will be enacted through rules passed by the State Medical Board, Board of Pharmacy, Dental Board and Board of Nursing

Related Media Coverage:

Ohio limits opioid prescriptions to seven days NBC News

3.31.17 | Toledo Blade Governor aims to reduce Ohio's overdose deaths

3.30.17 | WKSU 89.7 Ohio moves to limit most opioid prescriptions to seven days, five for children

3.30.17 | Associated Press Ohio to put new limits on pain meds

3.30.17 | Columbus Dispatch New rule limits narcotic painkiller prescriptions to seven days

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