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In a move in line with a national trend, the country’s largest pharmaceutical advocacy group is recommending that doctors limit opioid prescriptions, per an announcement made Wednesday by the Washington, D.C.-based Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
The move is in line with PhRMA’s mission to address the opioid crisis, the organization’s president and chief executive officer, Stephen J. Ubl, said in a statement.
“As part of our commitment to advancing a multifaceted solution to address the opioid crisis … PhRMA is announcing it supports policies limiting the supply of opioids to seven days for acute pain treatment,” he said in the statement. “We are taking this step because we believe the worsening opioid epidemic demands additional solutions, with new protections for patients. Too often, individuals receive a 30-day supply of opioid medicines for minor treatments or short-term pain. Overprescribing and dispensing can lead to patients taking opioids longer than necessary or to excess pills falling into the wrong hands.”
With the announcement, PhRMA also said it will support state and federal policies that limit the supply for first time, acute pain opioid prescriptions to seven days and include a list of circumstances under which a prescriber may deviate from any mandate, such as for cancer-related pain, hospice care or accessibility obstacles.
Pharmacy benefits management firms are aligning their business with state laws on how much opioids an injured worker can be prescribed on the first fill of their prescriptions despite backlash from doctors, experts say.