CONTACT: Chuck Moran, Pennsylvania Medical Society, (717) 558-7820
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2017
Statement: Heffley bill another step forward on opioid abuse epidemic
The following is a statement from Charles Cutler, MD, president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and a practicing physician in Montgomery County. He reacts to Pennsylvania House Bill 288 being introduced by Rep. Doyle Heffley to combat issues associated with opioid use and misuse.
Representative Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) recently introduced Pennsylvania House Bill 288, a bill that would require health insurance plans cover abuse-deterrent opioids. The Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) applauds Rep. Heffley and our organization supports this bill as written and introduced.
As one of the leading health care associations in Pennsylvania, PAMED fully understands both the good and bad when it comes to opioids. We believe that when it comes to opioids, we all must be smart, safe, and sure about using these powerful drugs. While there are many people who have not had issues with opioids as part of a treatment plan, unfortunately there are some who have. And, sadly, those problems can become devastating for the individual and their loved ones.
Abuse-deterrent opioids target the known avenues of abuse, such as crushing in order to snort or dissolving in order to inject. While PAMED recognizes that opioids with abuse-deterrent properties are not abuse-proof, they are a step toward reducing abuse. We also recognize that the formulation of these opioids can be expensive. However, in specific clinical situations they provide physicians with yet another tool that can responsibly help patients. As such, HB 288 is a bill that will work to decrease the current level of abuse.
Rep. Heffley has shown consistent and unwavering commitment to opioid abuse crisis, dedicating many hours to raise awareness and advocate for legislation that will make a difference. PAMED thanks him for his concern for public health and his efforts to protect all Pennsylvanians.
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The Pennsylvania Medical Society was founded in 1848. To learn more about PAMED, visit its web site at www.pamedsoc.org or follow on Twitter @PAMEDSociety. Members of the media are encouraged to follow Chuck Moran on Twitter @ChuckMoran7. Dr. Cutler can be followed on Twitter via @PAMEDPrez.