Industry Groups Review Massachusetts Anti-Addiction Bill

Medical industry groups in Massachusetts are starting to take stock of proposed anti-addiction legislation announced last week by state Senate leaders.

The proposal attempts to offer more treatment options to addicts and to limit prescriptions of opiates that have high abuse potential. Rick Gulla is spokesperson for the Massachusetts Medical Society. He says he believes, based on a first reading of the bill, that doctors would still have the final say on which medications their patients get.

“There may be several implications for physicians on how they practice medicine, the physician-patient relationship, and we continue to look at each section of the bill,” Gulla says.

He says doctors want to see a balance between the needs of patients in pain and the risks of having too many opiates in circulation. The Massachusetts Pharmacists Association released a statement praising the Senate for addressing the addiction problem, while also urging better education of family members on the dangers of taking other people’s prescriptions. The full Senate is expected to take up the legislation this week.