Stringent Regulation of Opioids Use and Inclusion of Long-term Pain Patients in Medicaid


Stringent Regulation of Opioids Use and Inclusion of Long-term PainPatients in Medicaid

StringentRegulation of Opioids Use

Governmentpolicies on Medicare are aimed to control the structure, financing,practice, and general health outcomes. These laws influence variousconcerns such as funding as well as how different players in medicalcare provide their services (Kwon &amp Johnson, 2013). Addiction topain relieving drugs has always been an issue in the United States.The last decade has seen a rise in the number of patients that havebecome hooked on painkillers. The federal government is recently inthe process of developing regulations aimed at reducing the risk ofaddiction and curb the consequences that may accompany. Despite thispublic health drug crisis, some doctors and industrial groups havenot welcomed this push citing regulating the use of opioids wouldbring about challenges especially to those patients that arelegitimately grappling with long-time pain (Tavernise, 2016).Recommendations are necessary to bring to an end the lengthydiscussion that has always emerged on whether the highly addictivepain management drugs should be regulated and individuals sufferingfrom cancer-related long-term illness admitted into Medicaid.

All agenciesshould take a firm stand concerning the use of pain management pills.Regulations are necessary because overdose and death cases fromopioid addiction have been on a steep increase. Statistics from thegovernment reveal that in the year 2014 alone, the country had lost arecord 28,647 individuals with West Virginia State being the worstaffected (Tavernise, 2016). From these figures, we realize the drugprescription practices have been a total shame. Regulating opioidprescription and use alongside admitting long-term pain patients withcancer-related illnesses will go a long way in improving patientoutcomes. About twenty years ago, doctors across America had startedprescribing opioids to treat simple conditions like back pain amidallegations from pharmaceutical organizations and medical specialiststhat they could be used for routine pain management without the riskof any addiction (Tavernise, 2016). The sad thing is that the courtsthrew out these claims as invalid and since then opioids painkillershave made it to the list of the most widely prescribed drugs inAmerica. However, there is hope that everything is about to changeowing to the widespread effects of the medication that people havealready witnessed. Patients suffering from long-term pain due docancer experience numerous difficulties and including them inMedicare will lessen the burden of health expenses on them andimprove their condition.

It is importantto note that compared with other treatments for chronic pain, the useof opioids carries a substantial risk (Herndon, 2012). Addiction toopioid makes some individuals later turn to heroine after startingwith prescription painkillers. The fact is, the federal governmenthas been slow in responding to the epidemic. However, some states, aswell as professional medical societies, have already commencedchampioning for some regulations for doctors to follow. Despite thefact that the federal guidelines are nonbinding, they are crucial asthey provide a baseline for addressing the epidemic (Rosenblum etal., 2008). The passing of a bill to regulate opioids and includelong-term pain patients in Medicare is one of the most significantinterventions the state government can bring to the medicalcommunity.

The bill onstringent regulation on opioids would contain recommendations thatspell out that doctors should first try other methods of painmanagement available before turning to opiates (Lligoña et al.,2016). These proposals are intended for elemental care practitionerswho prescribe many pain management drugs, yet they have limited or notraining at all on how to use them. Such a practice would preventaddiction to opioids. Additionally, the bill desires that patientsshould be given no more than seven days` worth of pills contrary tothe current situation in which they receive up to a month`s supply.The health care costs should be covered to ease the burden of foreverbuying pills. I believe the recommendations in the bill are relevant,and it is very necessary to regulate the prescription of painmanagement drugs owing to the current medical epidemic that thecountry is witnessing. The control of opioids is a public healthissue, and each state in America has the power to devise a system formonitoring the dispensing of opioids. Inappropriate opioidprescribing could result in harm to the patient harm as well as amedico-legal risk to prescribers. In writing an opioid prescriptionfor pain management, doctors have a clinical, ethical and legalresponsibility. Regulating the prescription of opioids will go a longway in reducing the risk of addiction and curb the consequences suchas death. Further, the inclusion of long-term pain patients wouldreduce the burden on patients and improve their conditions.

It is high timedifferent states enact proper laws to ensure opioids are exclusivelyused when required and does not lead to addiction or death at worst.They should also cushion long-term patients through healthcare plansthat take care of their medication and other costshospital-associated costs. Universally, the effectiveness, safety,and quality of the therapeutic merchandise available in nations haveprofited gigantically from a robust scientific and evidence-basedprocedure. This aspect ought to keep on being the focal organizingprinciple in assessing and approving substances for use asmedication. By taking after a thorough process, the scientific,medical, and society, in general, can be sure that choices are madeon the premise of scientific information and judgment. Thisconsideration is the sign of a successful framework for securing thegeneral population. If opioids are subjected to the same criteria asall pharmaceuticals, the prescriptions endorsement procedure wouldrequire that clinical trials be composed and directed in a way thatfurnishes governmental organizations with the necessary scientificinformation after which they can settle on approval choices.

The healthcaresystem is a crucial aspect of the American government. Reforms andregulations are needed to change how certain things happen. Accordingto Ballantyne (2007), there has been an increase in the number ofcases of opioids addiction and even deaths. Also, long-term painpatients have not been cared for as required by the constitution. Thelaw provides for all Americans to obtain medical care. However,subsidizing healthcare costs for some groups of people is imperative(Kwon &amp Johnson, 2013). The dilemma is whether the use of opioidsshould be regulated or not. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC), hadoutlined a few guidelines concerning the use of opioids as painrelieving drugs as well as the prescription of the same bypharmacists and the way to care for long-term pain patients. However,these guidelines witnessed some opposition from some members of themedical community.

The research byBallantyne gives a brief history of how opioids have been used torelieve pain. It states that the need for regulating the utilizationof the substance emerged only at the point when addiction had becomea problem to the society. Legal and regulatory processes impactnursing practice, health care delivery, and outcomes. Over-regulationis cited as a factor that compromises doctors` ability to treat pain.For this issues of opioid addiction, it is imperative that the rightmixture of regulation is attained. Ballantyne`s study shows theeffect that restraint brings about citing that the right laws wouldensure opioid addiction is handled.

Several peoplehave raised their concerns on the issue of control of opiates. Thegovernment is striving to address the issues about the use ofopioids. However, much still need to be done regarding policy issues.The C.D.C came up with certain guidelines that try to address thedrug addiction menace that accompany the use of opioids as painkillers (Kaham et al., 2011). Research revealed that addiction toopioid makes some individuals later turn to heroine after startingwith prescription painkillers. Stringent legislation should beadopted to reduce the negative influences associated with opioid use.Extensive research is still critical in this particular field. Theevidence-based finding will indeed bring solutions to the medicalfield.

The C.D.C makessome national recommendations. However, the C.D.C cannot cover allregulations. It is the responsibility of state governments togetherwith other key medical players to make local legislations thatregulate some health issues such as the use of opioids. Theimplementation of policies in healthcare service and nursing willhelp address the problem of inappropriate administration of opioidswhich has resulted in addictions and even deaths. Establishment ofstringent guidelines and procedures to be followed when handling acontrolled substance such as opioids will improve medical standardsand reduce addiction to painkillers, a problem that America has beengrappling with for the past decade. Absorbing long-term pain patientsin Medicare will lessen the burden on them as well as their familiesand improve their quality of life. The local governments shouldconsider this bill that proposes the same.


Ballantyne, J. (2007). Regulation of opioidprescribing.&nbspBMJ,&nbsp334(7598), 811-812.

Herndon, C. (2012). Tighter regulations for opioids create catch-22for patients.&nbspPharmacy Today,&nbsp18(9), 57.

Kahan, M., Mailis-Gagnon, A., Wilson, L., &amp Srivastava, A.(2011). Canadian guideline for safe and effective use of opioids forchronic noncancer pain Clinical summary for family physicians. Part1: general population.&nbspCanadian Family Physician,&nbsp57(11),1257-1266.

Kwon, J. &amp Johnson, M. (2013). Security practices and regulatorycompliance in the healthcareindustry. Journal of the AmericanMedical Informatics Association, 20(1),44-51.

Lligoña, A., Barrio, P., Lopez, A., Fauli, A., &amp Ortega, L.(2016). Factors increasing addiction risk in non-cancer pain patientsreceiving prescription opioids. A descriptive study.&nbspJournalof Psychosomatic Research,&nbsp85, 72-73.

Rosenblum, A., Marsch, L., Joseph, H., &amp Portenoy, R. (2008).Opioids and the treatment of chronic pain: Controversies, currentstatus, and future directions.&nbspExperimental And ClinicalPsychopharmacology,&nbsp16(5), 405-416.

Tavernise, S. (2016). C.D.C. Painkiller guidelines aim to reduceaddiction risk. Retrieved 18 March 2016, from