Rutledge Calls on CDC to Adopt Guidelines for Prescribing Pain Medications
January 26, 2016
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined with other attorneys general, calling on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to act quickly to adopt the proposed federal guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.
“As I continue to work to combat the problem of prescription drug abuse, I want to make sure that physicians have the tools they need to properly prescribe medication,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I have heard from doctors, pharmacists, law enforcement and citizens that over prescribing is a major concern in communities across Arkansas. I urge the CDC to move quickly to adopt these guidelines so that the medical community will have a better framework to prescribe opioids.”
In a letter to the CDC, the attorneys general write, “the increase in overdose deaths has made the efforts to improve informed prescribing both a law enforcement and public safety issue. Unfortunately, many prescribers, particularly primary care and family physicians, note they can lack clear and practical guidance in deciding when and how to prescribe opioids. Some are afraid to prescribe opioids at all, for fear that they will jeopardize their patients – or even their licenses. Others provide their patients with opioids when alternative treatments may serve as a more effective long term method for care.”
Rutledge has been vocal about the problem of prescription drug abuse in Arkansas. Since taking office, she has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to hold Drug Take Back Days, encouraging Arkansas to clean out their medicine cabinets of unused and expired medications to be properly disposed of by law enforcement. She also partnered with the Arkansas Office of the Drug Director, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and the Criminal Justice Institute to host the annual Prescription Drug Abuse Summit last November in which participants learned about more research and strategies to fight prescription drug misuse and abuse.
The letter to the CDC was signed by Rutledge, along with attorneys general from the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.