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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges Feds to Prevent Opioid Overprescription

Release date: 4/1/2019

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reconsider its Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Draft Report. The Draft Report deviates from CDC guidelines aimed at decreasing the risk of opioid misuse. The report suggests providers can rely solely on their judgement instead of consulting evidence-based recommendations. By doing so, it weakens recommendations for opioid prescription duration and dosage.
“The opioid epidemic is tearing families apart all over North Carolina,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Fundamentally, the overdose crisis has been a function of overprescription of opioid painkillers.”
“For some people, one prescription is all it takes to trigger a tragic addiction. For others, they put their leftover pills in medicine cabinets in homes all over our state. That’s how they get into the wrong hands. Now is not the time to pull back on our efforts to reduce the number of pills in circulation in our state.”
The letter includes several other concerns, including that HHS does not provide a reason for departing from the evidence-based CDC Guideline and does not explicitly state that there is no completely safe opioid dosage.
“Moving away from the CDC Guideline at this critical time would undermine ongoing legislative initiatives, as well as refinements to standards of medical care,” the letter continued. “As a matter of public safety, there is simply no justification to move away from the CDC Guideline to encourage more liberal use of an ineffective treatment that causes nearly 50,000 deaths annually.”
More information on Attorney General Josh Stein and the opioid epidemic:

A copy of the letter can be found here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

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