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(Link to full article) As a way to stem the harms associated with prescription opioids, many health care entities and state governments have imposed restrictions on opioid prescribing for acute and chronic pain, creating new problems that require both monitoring and remediation. Last fall, for example, PhRMA, the drug industry trade association, declared support for “limiting the supply of opioids to seven days for acute pain treatment.” Two pharmacy benefits chains, CVS Health and Express Scripts, endorsed similar limits. CVS will also restrict doses to less than 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME), absent exemption. By mid-2017, 23 states had enacted legislation with a limit, guidance or requirement related to opioid prescriptions, according to a review by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most of these 23 states restrict prescription length based on the contested proposition that mandatory limits will prevent opioid addiction.
Kertesz has been featured through a series of letters, lectures and commentaries appearing in venues from STATNews, Newsweek,Slate and TheHill.com, and his work has been featured on Vox.com.