How should U.S. regulate powerful painkillers?

American Academy of Pain Management’s Executive Director, Bob Twillman, PhD discusses opioid prescribing and regulations on PBS’s Newshour

Forty-six people die every day in the U.S. after overdosing on prescription painkillers, causing some states to crack down. Are tighter laws creating new problems? Judy Woodruff gets views from Bob Twillman of the American Academy of Pain Management and Dr. Andrew Kolodny of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.


JUDY WOODRUFF: Each day, 46 people die in this country after overdosing on prescription painkillers.  In 2012 alone, the CDC says 259 million prescriptions were written for painkillers, enough to supply every American adult with a bottle of pills.

Now many states are pushing back, including New York, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, and Washington State.  Three of those states now require doctors to check a patient database before writing a prescription.  This year, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, and Texas are also considering tighter laws.

But some physicians and patient advocates say this crackdown is creating new problems.

We get two views now.

Dr. Andrew Kolodny is the director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.  He’s also chief medical officer for the Phoenix House Foundation.  It’s a national nonprofit addiction agency.  Bob Twillman is the executive director of the American Academy of Pain Management and also a clinical psychologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  Mr. Twillman was caught in a traffic jam tonight.  He couldn’t make it to the studio, so he joins us by telephone.

Read the rest of the transcript and listen to the podcast-

via How should U.S. regulate powerful painkillers?.


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