Letter to the Editor

RX legislation is misguided

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

While I applaud the efforts of our legislature to tackle the problem of opioid addiction, I feel that the efforts with the current Senate Bill are somewhat misguided. This bill will only further complicate physicians' ability to do their jobs. While some physicians are unscrupulous and will overprescribe narcotics, most physicians are conscientious and very discrete about their prescribing of controlled substances.

As a gynecologic surgeon, I have to prescribe narcotics for pain relief for surgical procedures. If I can only limit a prescription for seven days, then it will impact patient care. There are people who have major procedures who need to have pain relief for a longer period of time. Also if those surgeries are on people who are in the Medicaid system and they have return for another prescription, then that will add additional cost for another visit.

Availability of narcotics is only part of the issue. Interdiction has been attempted for many years through the efforts of the DEA, and the availability hasn't decreased. Drug dealers are extremely clever about getting around their efforts to limit narcotics and have no respect for the law. The source of the problem in my opinion is only partially addressed by restricting narcotics.

The real issue to me is what drives people to use narcotics as a solution to the their problems. Narcotics are used to avoid the reality of life. I would hope the legislature will attack the issue on all fronts.

ERIC MORTON, Cape Girardeau