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Federal law enforcement officials, park rangers and postal workers will be among those affected by new opioid restrictions imposed on injured federal workers, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs announced Monday.
The new controls on opioid prescribing aim to reduce the risk of long-term opioid use, the department said regarding its effort to reduce the potential of opioid misuse among injured federal workers receiving benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act.
The new controls include a seven-day limit on the first fill of an opioid prescription, a provision in line with the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and “consistent with restrictions now in place in states across the country,” according to a statement.
The department is also limiting the number of subsequent opioid prescriptions, allowing three subsequent seven-day opioid prescriptions for a maximum of 28 days and requiring prior departmental approval for any prescription beyond this period.
Fewer injured workers are receiving opioids compared with previous years, and it appears opioid drugs are being replaced with nonopioid pain medications and nonpharmacologic treatments like physical therapy, according to a study released Tuesday.