NH Physicians Applaud Efforts to Curb Opioid Abuse

March 16, 2016 (Concord) – The New Hampshire Medical Society commends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) release of the new Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, and offers praise to the New Hampshire medical and nursing licensing boards that have submitted proposed permanent opioid prescribing rules similar to the CDC guidance.

The Medical Society, along with other health provider groups, has been conscientiously working to gather critical input from diverse practitioners and patients, to review key national and specialty guidelines, in order to help craft permanent rules that will support patient care while reducing opioid-associated harm. As a result, both the NH Board of Medicine and NH Board of Nursing have submitted proposed rules that require providers to adhere to mandatory standards for the prescribing of Schedule II, III, and IV opioids. Much of the CDC guidance is reflected in each licensing board’s initial proposed rules, which will have public hearings on April 6, 2016, at 3:30 pm and April 21, 2016, at 2 pm, at the Philbrook Building, 121 South Fruit Street in Concord.

Medical Society president, Dr. John Butterly, said, "The Medical Society is actively engaged with the medical board, legislators and other stakeholders, to insure that patients get the care that they need while reducing the number of unused pills sitting in medicine cabinets."

The Medical Society also worked with the Joint Legislative Task Force last year and supported Senate Bill 576 in January, which requires prescribers to complete opioid-focused education and check the prescription monitoring program database prior to prescribing opioids for pain.

Dr. Butterly noted, “The proposed state rules, along with the CDC guidance, are a significant step forward in attacking the problem of opioid abuse. New Hampshire physicians will continue to work with elected leaders, public health officials, and health care providers in reducing prescription drug and opioid abuse in the Granite State.”

Founded in 1791, New Hampshire Medical Society (NHMS) is dedicated and committed to advocating for patients, physicians, and the medical profession, as well as health-related rights, responsibilities and issues for the betterment of public health in the Granite State.