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Louisiana governor signs opioid legislation that limits prescriptions

Louisiana governor signs opioid legislation that limits prescriptions

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law legislation that limits the number of days a first-fill prescription for opioids can be prescribed in the state and strengthens rules the require doctors to access a drug monitoring database before prescribing. 

Signed into law on Monday was House Bill 192, which implements a seven-day limit on first-time prescriptions of opioids for acute pain. 

The bill makes a provision for chronic pain: “If, in the professional medical judgment of a medical practitioner, more than a seven-day supply of an opioid is required to treat the adult or minor patient's acute medical condition … the practitioner may issue a prescription for the quantity needed to treat the patient's acute medical condition or pain.  … (it) shall be documented in the patient's medical record and the practitioner shall indicate that a nonopioid alternative was not appropriate to address the medical condition.”

The prescriber-limit law goes into effect Aug. 1. 

Also signed into law was Senate Bill 55, which requires doctors to check the prescription monitoring database before prescribing an opioid to a patient and to re-check the system every 90 days, in an effort to avoid the practice of doctor-shopping, which lawmakers argued helped fuel the opioid epidemic. That law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Workers compensation experts have said similar opioid legislation — as passed this year in states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey — will affect doctors who prescribe to injured workers.


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