Advocates Hail Bill Allowing Doctors To Bypass Authorization ‘Red Tape’ When Prescribing Addiction Treatment Medicines
Rules requiring prior authorization from insurance companies for buprenorphine exist in at least 40 states, preventing doctors from immediately being able to provide treatment to help prevent overdoses. News on the opioid crisis focuses on Purdue Pharma's media campaign to hide the truth and criminal penalties for dealers, as well.
Bill Would Let More Doctors Prescribe Addiction Meds Without Insurer Signoff
Fewer doctors would have to wait for permission to prescribe addiction treatment drugs under new, bipartisan legislation being unveiled this week by two lawmakers on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Under a new bill authored by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and David McKinley (R-W.Va.), the practice of “prior authorization,” in which insurers require doctors to seek approval before they can proceed with a prescription or procedure, would be banned in state Medicaid programs for addiction treatment medicines like buprenorphine. (Facher, 11/18)
Inside Purdue Pharma’s Media Playbook: How It Planted The Opioid 'Anti-Story'
In 2004, Purdue Pharma was facing a threat to sales of its blockbuster opioid painkiller OxyContin, which were approaching $2 billion a year. With abuse of the drug on the rise, prosecutors were bringing criminal charges against some doctors for prescribing massive amounts of OxyContin. That October, an essay ran across the top of The New York Times’ health section under the headline “Doctors Behind Bars: Treating Pain is Now Risky Business.” Its author, Sally Satel, a psychiatrist, argued that law enforcement was overzealous, and that some patients needed large doses of opioids to relieve pain. (Armstrong, 11/19)
The Washington Post:
Anthony ‘A.J.’ Hunt Gave Rachel Bandman Opioids To Die By Suicide And Was Sentenced To 24 Years
The 20 Xanax pills that Rachel Bandman’s friend had sold her were not enough, she wrote in a text message. The University of South Carolina student said she wanted to die and the medication hadn’t killed her. “I need more for it to happen,” Bandman texted Anthony “A.J.” Hunt in 2016, BuzzFeed News reported, citing court transcripts. Hunt, a drug dealer who had dropped out of the university, sold Bandman more of the sedatives, federal prosecutors said. (Iati, 11/18)