Most Governors signed compact to legislate limits on opiate dosing

Bullock one of seven governors not signing NGA’s compact to fight opioid abuse

Apparently the vast majority of GOVERNORS believe that you can legislate morality, mental health issues and the treatment of chronic pain.  IMO… what a bunch of  ARROGANT ASS-HOLES !


Gov. Steve Bullock is one of only seven governors who wouldn’t sign a National Governors Association compact to fight a national epidemic of opioid drug addiction and abuse.

The compact, released two weeks ago, outlines steps that states should take to combat the abuse of opioids, such as prescription painkillers, heroin and other such drugs.

“Turning the tide on the epidemic requires a coordinated response across all levels of government and strong leadership from the private sector,” the NGA said when it unveiled the compact.

But the Bullock administration said it objects to two main elements of the compact: Requiring physicians and other health-care professionals to check a state prescription-drug database before prescribing such drugs to any patient, and considering laws to limit certain prescriptions.

Prescription limits are “adamantly opposed” by physicians and pain advocates, and using Montana’s prescription-drug database when prescribing drugs should be voluntary – as it is now, the governor’s office told MTN News.

Jean Branscum, CEO of the Montana Medical Association, which represents physicians, said it believes doctors should check Montana’s prescription-drug database when prescribing painkillers, to see if the patient might be “doctor-shopping” for certain drugs.

Yet the MMA does not believe state law should require physicians to do the checks.

“Leaping into making that a mandate takes us in a different direction, than what we feel is necessary for Montana physicians,” she said Friday.

Montana has had a prescription-drug registry since 2011. The bill creating it was one of Bullock’s top initiatives when he was the state’s attorney general.

Pharmacists are required to file information with the registry on almost every controlled-substance prescription they fill. The registry is meant to track the potential overuse or abuse of certain drugs.

Branscum said Montana’s prescription-drug registry is “still a product in development,” and that the MMA has been working with the state Board of Pharmacy, which runs the registry, to enable physicians’ staff to be able to check it.

That change will help the checks become more easily “built into the work flow” of a doctor’s office, she said.

The MMA also supports extending the registry beyond 2017, when it’s scheduled to expire, and will be seeking a bill in the 2017 Legislature to do that, she added.

As for limiting certain opioid prescriptions, Branscum said state law should not be used to dictate a “standard of practice” by physicians.

The best practices for treating chronic pain are evolving and the MMA is offering continuing education for physicians, she said.

“We want to have education on those best practices and (not) have physicians worry about what the law says is the best practice at the time the law is passed,” Branscum said.

“Physicians agree that there is an opioid epidemic across the nation and that Montana has not been left untouched,” she said. “So physicians are stepping up for the best patient care, without having mandates surrounding that, to take care of the issue.”

She said the MMA also will be supporting efforts to make naloxone more available – a drug used to treat opioid overdoses.

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