For Immediate Release - January 14, 2016

AG Healey Joins Multistate Effort Urging Adoption of CDC Guidelines Around Opioid Prescribing

AG Previously Commends Proposed Guidelines to Change Culture around Dispensing Addictive Painkillers

BOSTON – Combining efforts with attorneys general whose states and residents have been affected by the opioid epidemic, Attorney General Maura Healey today urged the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promptly adopt guidelines the agency has proposed to improve prescribing practices and provide much-needed information about when and how opioids should be prescribed for chronic pain.

AG Healey joined 35 attorneys general in sending a letter to the CDC pdf format of NAAG Letter - CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opiates
that supports a strong framework for providers and clear guidelines that will provide a foundation for practice, recognizing that doctors will need to adapt them to meet the individual needs of their patients.

“Unfortunately, the opioid overdose deaths and emergency room visits continue to increase in proportion to the increase in prescribed opioids. We must provide clear guidance for prescribers to assess the appropriate balance between the potential harms and benefits of opioid use,” the letter states.

While in Washington D.C. this week, speaking to federal officials about ways to address the growing opioid addiction epidemic nationwide, AG Healey sent a letter commending the CDC pdf format of AG Letter CDC Guideline
file size 1MB for drafting guidelines that will create a single, nationwide, evidence-based standard. 

Addressing the growing addiction crisis in Massachusetts continues to be a top priority for Attorney General Healey. The AG’s Office is looking at a host of other practices, from marketing by pharmaceutical companies, to dispensing by pharmacies, to pill diversion and drug trafficking by criminal entities, to coverage for substance abuse treatment by insurance companies. The AG’s Office is also working on solutions that include eliminating barriers to treatment, and supporting prevention and education initiatives across the state.

AG Healey is also working on solutions, including making the life-saving overdose reversal drug Narcan more affordable and widely available, eliminating barriers to treatment, and supporting prevention and education initiatives across the state. In November, AG Healey announced with the Department of Public Health that first responders can now purchase naloxone, the generic version of Narcan, at a discounted rate of $20 per unit.