TUESDAY, July 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Tighter rules on opioid painkiller prescriptions for U.S. government employees will be implemented in the fall, the Trump Administration says.
The new Federal Employee Health Benefits Program rules are meant to prevent overprescribing of the potentially addictive drugs to patients who might require them for only a short period of time, the Associated Press reported. Patients with intractable pain from cancer and other conditions will still be able to get opioid painkillers.
Under the new rules, an initial prescription will be limited to seven days instead of up to 30 days, and patients will be allowed up to three refills of seven days apiece. Formal prescription reauthorization that involves consultation with a health professional will be required every 28 days, the AP reported.
The tighter plan restrictions on opioid painkillers were part of a White House briefing on drug policy held Monday. The benefits program is the world's largest job-based health plan and includes about 9 million people, including workers, retirees, and family members. Several states have already restricted opioid prescriptions for their employees, the AP reported.