Apr 6, 2016 6:37 PM

State's Board of Medicine passes new regulations in prescribing opioids


CONCORD - The state's Board of Medicine held a meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss permanent rules for physicians to follow when it comes to prescribing opioids.

The board discussed a five- page proposal that puts certain limits and restrictions on opioid prescriptions and defines different levels of pain and treatment.

A shorter set of of emergency rules went into effect in November 2015, and will be replaced with the new proposal the Board discussed Wednesday.

Much was discussed in regards to acute, intermittent, and chronic pain levels and what the appropriate amount of prescription opiates would be at those levels.

The new regulations are meant cut down on the number of pills that go out into circulation, in order to keep them out of the hands of people who abuse them.

One man spoke about how the new regulations have made it difficult for his wife, who after a car crash in 1991, has benefited from her prescribed opioid medication for 25 years.

"Many times she tried to explain this to her doctor, only to have the doctor lose patience and even refuse to treat her because she said 'i'm still in pain, you've cut me back too much,'" Boscawen resident Jim Armenio said.

At all levels of pain, the proposal requires physicians to consider the patient's history or risk for opioid abuse as well as to document all prescriptions.

The newly passed proposal is expected to be updated on the Board of Medicine's website by Thursday morning.


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