Senate proposal calls for seven-day cap for opioid prescriptions in acute pain cases

    (WHAM photo)

    Washington, D.C. – Newly-introduced legislation would cap opioid prescriptions to seven days when used to treat acute pain.

    The bipartisan measure, introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, would require doctors who prescribe opioids to treat acute pain to sign off on no more than seven days’ worth.

    Professionals would also be required to certify that they will not provide refills, and their registration with the DEA to prescribe controlled substances would have to be renewed every three years.

    This seven-day cap would not apply to prescriptions used in the treatment of chronic pain or end-of-life care.

    In a statement, Senator Gillibrand said, “Too many families throughout New York and our country have suffered from the devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic. No community has been left untouched, and we need to be proactive when it comes to ending this crisis. One of the root causes of opioid abuse is the over-prescription of these powerful and addictive drugs. I’m proud to join with Senator Gardner to introduce bipartisan legislation that limits the over-prescription of opioids. This would help our communities combat opioid addiction, and I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass this bill.”

    New York is one of 15 states that limit opioid prescription amounts for treating acute pain.

    The legislation is named in honor of late senator John McCain of Arizona, who acted as the Republican lead on the legislation in the last Congress.

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