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May 3, 2016 12:14 PM

New opioid prescription rules go into effect for doctors today


CONCORD - New rules that doctors must follow when it comes to prescribing opioids go into effect today.

The Union-Leader reports it’s likely the Board of Medicine will have to change them again before the summer is out.

The rules, adopted after a public hearing and legal notice, replace emergency rules that the board adopted late last year; they are set to expire on Wednesday.

The new rules set standards for when a physician must query the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), what must be in written treatment agreements for long-term opioid users and what documentation a physician must undertake when a patient’s daily opioid use exceeds 100 milligrams of morphine equivalents.

Meanwhile, the Senate last week passed legislation that lays out specific items that should be in opioid prescribing rules adopted by boards that cover doctors, nurses, dentists, other health care workers and veterinarians.

The sponsor, Rep. Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua, said the legislation closes a loophole in the Board of Medicine rules that allow emergency room physicians to prescribe opioids in many cases without checking the PDMP data base of patients and their prescriptions. She said the legislation would also limit the opioids that a patient could get from an emergency room, walk-in clinic or urgent care center.


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