Christie plan to limit pain meds could cost docs, drug companies money
Gov. Chris Christie's plan to limit initial opioid prescriptions to five days is getting a lot of resistance from The Medical Society, which is the state's largest lobbying group for physicians. This limit will cost the doctors and pharmaceutical companies a lot of money.
Kevin Meara, co-founder of City Of Angels, which guides people through addiction and helps them in their recovery, says "If you look at the amount of lobbying done by big pharma on behalf of the doctors, Christie's bucking the tide."
So how much lobbying is being done? The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity teamed up to investigate the influence of pharmaceutical companies on state and federal policies regarding opioids. According to the article, opioids have resulted in about 165,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000.
According to the AP article, more than $880 million has been spent by big drug companies "on lobbying and political contributions at the state and federal level over the past decade." On the other side, only about $4 million was spent by those who are in favor of putting limits of opioids.
According to Meara, "legislators have been taken care of by big pharma, and Christie's using his last year to do something about it. This medicine is so powerful that it's almost instantly addictive."
He said doctors are measured by their ability to manage pain.
"When you try to do something for the new people, obviously the people who've been in pain management are going to be hit a little bit by it," Meara said.
Has Meara seen success with non opioid pain medications?
"They've been working with that for quite sometime, even medical marijuana is part of that."
Meara says something needs to be done and gives some sobering statistics.
"The amount of overdose deaths in New Jersey has gone up 22 per cent in the last year alone. In Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato is talking about 300 deaths this year so they have to do something."
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