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Legislation Introduced To Combat Opioid Crisis

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Assemblymember and emergency physician Joaquin Arambula, M.D. (D-Fresno), has introduced a bill (AB 2384) that would remove some of the largest barriers to Medication Assisted Therapy for opioid addiction, such as prior authorization requirements and coverage limits.

“As an emergency physician, I saw the impact that opioid abuse has on families and I believe we need to reduce the availability of prescription medications that may be misused or diverted,” said Dr. Arambula. “We are one of the states leading the country in a multi-year reduction of overdose deaths from prescription opioids, and now we have a chance to lead in providing critical recovery services as well.”

Arambula’s bill is part of a larger package of legislation intended to combat the crisis of opioid misuse. The California Medical Association (CMA) will be closely following this bill package as it makes its way through the legislature.

The issue of opioid-related misuse, abuse and overdose continue to be a major policy issue at the federal, state and regional levels. Like the nation as a whole, California is faced with a serious health care dilemma: how to prescribe controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose.

Safe prescribing resources

CMA supports a well-balanced approach to opioid prescribing and treatment that considers the unique needs of individual patients. CMA’s safe prescribing resource page includes the most current information and resources on prescribing controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose. There you will find:

  • Resources on prescribing controlled substances safely and effectively to relieve pain, while simultaneously reducing the risk of prescription medication misuse, addiction and overdose
  • CMA’s white papers on prescribing opioids
  • Links to relevant documents in CMA’s health law library
  • Continuing medical education courses and webinars
  • Current information on the state’s prescription drug monitoring database
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