House Takes Steps To Limit Prescription Pain Pills

May 2, 2016

Doctors in Vermont will soon face new limits on the number of narcotic pain pills they can prescribe to patients.

The House on Monday afternoon gave unanimous approval to legislation aimed at curbing the state’s problem with opiate addiction. Ann Pugh, D-South Burlington, is the chairwoman of the House Human Services Committee. She said the state needs to address the proliferation of prescription painkillers.  

“We need to look at the way we are prescribing to address pain, and drive down the number of opiates we are prescribing,” Pugh said.

Health officials say excessive prescriptions of narcotics have helped fuel the addiction problem. The legislation sets in motion a rulemaking process that will result in limits on the number of pills doctors can prescribe for various conditions.

The bill also allocates $250,000 for a program that will alert doctors to the dangers of narcotic painkillers, like oxycodone, and provide education on alternative pain-relief strategies.

The bill still needs final approval from the state Senate.