AIA Statement on Passage of Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Legislation in Maine

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Alison Cooper, Northeast region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), today praised the Maine legislature for passing comprehensive opioid abuse legislation (LD 1646).

Alison Cooper, Northeast region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), today praised the Maine legislature for passing comprehensive opioid abuse legislation (LD 1646).

Opioids are synthetic versions of opium-derived drugs, many of which were initially developed to treat end-stage cancers but are increasingly used to relieve chronic pain. The rising cost associated with opioids, both human and economic, has made opioid abuse a national epidemic, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

“AIA applauds the leadership of policymakers in both the House and Senate, and Governor LePage for recognizing and addressing the issue of opioid abuse,” Cooper said. “This legislation contains significant measures that have proven to be effective in reducing dependence and preventing addiction to opioids. Insurers remain committed to fighting this epidemic, and engaged with the appropriate state regulators as LD 1646 takes effect.”

To combat opioid abuse, LD 1646 will limit prescriptions of opioids to no more than a 30 day supply within a 30 day period for patients under treatment of chronic pain; limit prescriptions of opioids to no more than a 7 day supply within a 7 day period for patients under treatment for acute pain; require practitioners to successfully complete three hours of continuing education every two years on the prescription of opioid medication; and enhance the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program to allow for improvements in speed, communication, and ease of use for prescribers and pharmacists. LD 1646 also includes needed exemptions for cancer patients and palliative and hospice care.

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