Here In Washington State, where I practice as an addiction specialist, we have been successfully applying aggressive strategies to address complications from prescription drug dependence and addiction. Recently it was reported that deaths in our state are 60% compared to what they were in 2008. We changed prescribing laws, and other government and non-government actions that have made a big difference. A law such as this fails to address the realities of what pregnant women with addiction face, or what they need. This story does a good job to bring some humanity into it. The prosecutor interviewed in the story is a good example of a very zealous public servant, protecting the baby, who is in essence interfering with the bonding that might otherwise occur between the mother and the baby. We should be using our societal resources to enhance access to medication assisted treatments such as buprenorphine, and Congress should lift senseless and arbitrary restrictions and barriers to prescribing burprenorphine; so that OB/GYN and family physicians everywhere could participate in treating the large numbers of pregnant women and others needing help.
Methadone is one of two painkillers Washington state approves for Medicaid patients and injured workers. It is cheap, but also unpredictable. Methadone deaths reach into the hundreds each year and disproportionately affect the state’s poor.
In Washington state, Dr. Michael Schiesser, president of the Washington Society of Addiction Medicine, said he’s not aware of laws restricting the manner or scope of drug testing for most employees.
A case involving a prominent Seattle physician who allegedly traded prescription drugs for sex has raised questions about how the state regulates certain prescriptions.
Lawmakers alarmed by statistics showing more Washington residents accidentally died from taking prescription painkillers than from traffic accidents.
Physicians say Regence BlueShield gave them poor quality ratings using bad data. Regence says it uses professional standards and wants to collaborate on improvements.
Stricter oversight of physicians includes setting dosage limits and requiring CME.
A petition that asks the FDA to tighten labeling for opioid analgesics raises questions about appropriate prescribing for moderate chronic pain.