Arkansas OKs rules for doctors prescribing opioids

Opioids pills

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas panel has given final approval for regulations requiring extra steps for doctors who prescribe high doses of opioid pain medication.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the Legislative Council’s Administrative Rules and Regulations Subcommittee approved the regulations Tuesday despite repeated complaints from patients who say the rules will force them to live with more pain.

The Arkansas State Medical Board in April endorsed the rules, which are based on recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and aimed at reducing the abuse of opioids like hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine.

Some patients say they’re concerned the rules will prevent them from getting the necessary medications.

A Medical Board attorney says the rules don’t limit what doctors can prescribe, but rather outline steps doctors should already be taking.