Massachusetts Bucking Efforts to Weaken Anti-Opioid Measures

massachusetts-state-house-300x198BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts appears to be bucking efforts by makers of prescription painkillers to kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids.

The drugmakers say they’re combating the addiction epidemic, but The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found they’ve adopted a 50-state strategy — including hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions — to resist proposals to rein in drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and fentanyl helping fuel the overdose crisis.

Instead, Massachusetts this year passed one of the nation’s most comprehensive laws to combat opioid addiction, including placing a seven-day limit on first-time prescriptions for opiate painkillers.

The law also requires overdose victims seeking help at hospital emergency rooms be evaluated in 24 hours and lets patients fill only part of their painkiller prescriptions.

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