Tennessee Medical Association outlines opposition to governor's opioid plan

The Tennessee Medical Association came out in opposition to the state's anti-opioid plan, TN Together, announced by Republican Gov. Bill Haslam Jan. 22.

Here are the TMA's three biggest disagreements with the proposal.

1. The plan's unfair labels segregate patients. The proposal would place patients into categories that are confusing and create broad-brush restrictions that take power away from physicians. The TMA argues legislators should eliminate the "acute care" definition to avoid conflicts with the "chronic non-malignant pain" and give physicians more flexibility to determine labels.

2. The proposal interferes with the physician-patient relationship. The frequency of mandated lookups on the state's controlled substance monitoring database adds unnecessary administrative burden to prescribers without expanding the available staff to perform those lookups.

3. The proposal doesn't protect patients with legitimate chronic pain. The one-size-fits-all, five-day limit for opioid prescriptions could adversely affect patients that have chronic pain and cannot be treated through alternative measures.

More articles on opioids:

Senate Democrats urge GAO to investigate White House opioid response: 4 things to know 
Baltimore sues opioid manufacturers, distributors 
Colorado county 1st in state to file opioid lawsuit against drug companies

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