Gov. Ducey Calls Special Session To Combat Opioid Epidemic

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services and Tom Maxedon
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 - 2:47pm
Updated: Friday, January 19, 2018 - 4:41pm
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The Arizona Legislature will begin a special session on Monday devoted to debate on the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act, introduced by Governor Doug Ducey.

The legislation is an attempt to stem the high prescription rate of opioids and the resulting abuse that has pushed Arizona into an epidemic.

Ducey’s legislation proposes limits on the number of prescribed days and strength of dosage for opiates.  It also eliminates paper prescriptions and subjects drug manufacturers and their executive management to potential criminal charges for falsely promoting opioids.

Pete Wertheim, executive director of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association, said unprecedented action is called for to combat the epidemic. “We're trying to go after the bad actors and make sure that the proper checks are made, that we're not running into policies that may impact people that are suffering from pain and may have either delays in care or are just unable to access it.”

Wertheim added that because doctors are part of the problem, they need to be part of the solution.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story has been updated to clarify Wertheim's comment about doctors needing to be part of the solution.

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