The Mississippi State Medical Licensure Board is drawing a line in the sand against opioid abuse. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the board has approved tougher rules for prescribing pain medication to patients.
Doctors will soon be required to use the state's prescription monitoring program, or PMP, which is a database that tracks patients getting pain medication. Patients will only be able to get a 10-day opioid prescription for acute pain. And, some patients getting Schedule 2 pain meds, like Hydrocodone, for chronic, non-cancer pain, will be drug tested at the point of service. Dr. Charles Miles is the medical licensure board president.
"We changed regulations that were out-of-date, that just weren't going to work anymore. With education, and everyone watching what they're doing, I think this will save lives."
There have been more than 200 opioid-related overdose deaths in Mississippi this year. The state is 5th in the nation for pain medication prescriptions per capita. Dr. Fred Ingram is a gynecologist in Jackson.
"Well, I hope this will keep people from doctor shopping. You're not going to be writing medication, and have somebody else writing medications, which has happened before."
"Have you experienced patients doctor shopping?"
"In past years. Not in recent years because I check the PMP."
"What do you tell people when you know that they're just trying to get the medicaiton?"
"They don't get any medicine any from me."
The new opioid prescription rules for doctors are expected to have final state approval sometime next year.