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Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer

April 23, 2018

From The New York Times website

Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016 a staggering one in three of the 43.6 million beneficiaries of the program’s drug plan had been prescribed the painkillers.

Medicare, they decided, would now refuse to pay for long-term, high-dose prescriptions; a rule to that effect is expected to be approved on April 2. Some medical experts have praised the regulation as a check on addiction.

But the proposal has also drawn a broad and clamorous blowback from many people who would be directly affected by it, including patients with chronic pain, primary care doctors and experts in pain management and addiction medicine.

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