Tag Archives: painkiller

TennCare Buying More Painkiller Drugs

At the same time state lawmakers, law enforcement agencies and other officials have been working to address Tennessee’s pain pill epidemic, TennCare spending on narcotic medications such as Lortab and Vicodin has been on a steady increase since 2007, reports The Tennessean.
The state’s Medicaid program, which provides health care to uninsured Tennesseans, saw spending on narcotic prescriptions increase 48 percent to nearly $49 million between 2007 and 2011.
The agency, in an effort to curb the illegal reselling of prescription medication, has implemented an array of safeguards to combat patients who shop for doctors who will write them prescriptions. Despite those measures, the bill for controlled substances continues to grow.
Law enforcement agents, such as Metro Nashville Detective Michael Donaldson, say abusers have figured out ways to get TennCare to fund their addiction habit or drug ring.
“With the advent of TennCare, and the state trying to assist people who actually need health care, users have been able to abuse the system as well as get TennCare to pay for their synthetic drugs and fuel their addiction on taxpayer dollars,” Donaldson said. “That’s a common problem across the country.”

Doctors, Pharmacists Work With Gov on Painkiller Bill

From Matt Lakin in the News Sentinel</a:
Doctors and pharmacists say they're willing to work with Gov. Bill Haslam's administration on its proposed legislation to combat prescription-drug abuse, although they might call for compromise on some points.
"We know the problem's an epidemic," said Russ Miller, executive vice president of the Tennessee Medical Association. "Now that we've seen a little more of the governor's proposal, we're supportive of measures to tighten up on prescriptions, on who's writing them and on who's getting them. I think we're headed in the right direction. The intent's right, but the pragmatics of it all are something we think we need to look at a little more."
The governor's public safety action plan, announced last week, includes a proposal that would require physicians and pharmacists to check the state prescription drug database before writing or filling painkiller prescriptions. Current state law leaves such checks up to the doctor or pharmacist's discretion, except for registered pain management clinics.

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Haslam Anti-Crime Package Calls for Restrictions on Painkiller Prescriptions

Legislation requiring doctors to check a state drug database before writing painkiller prescriptions was embraced by Gov. Bill Haslam on Thursday for inclusion in a new “public safety action plan.”
The plan further supports separate legislation to establish stronger penalties for “doctor shopping” to obtain prescriptions.
It also calls for new rules for reporting prescriptions to the database, known as the Prescription Monitoring Program, or PMP, and expanded access to the database for law-enforcement officers and various state government agencies. Efforts will be made to exchange prescription information with other states under the plan..
But the administration will not push proposed legislation requiring persons picking up a painkiller prescription to show a photo ID, the governor and administration officials said at a news conference to promote proposals aimed at combating crime, domestic violence and drug abuse with a package of “action steps” including both legislation and administrative actions.

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