Doctors skeptical that ER opioid rule will help stem abuse

From the Post-Gazette:

Dr. Maria Guyette sees the opioid epidemic up close, but doesn’t think her fellow emergency doctors should be singled out by lawmakers in the effort to combat it.

Prescription drug-related emergency room visits doubled over six recent years, said the UPMC Shadyside doctor, who is president-elect of the Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians. “That number has continued to increase, and these patients that are dying are dying at our doorsteps, which is heartbreaking,” she said.

So what does she think of a proposal approved in the House, and endorsed by Gov. Tom Wolf this week, to restrict the prescribing of opioids by emergency doctors?

“I think it will not stop almost any medication from hitting the street,” she said, because ERs are not big narcotics prescribers, adding that the “no-you-can’t-do-it [approach] means you can’t make exceptions.”

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