West Virginia Senate votes to limit painkiller prescriptions

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s Senate has voted unanimously to limit new painkiller prescriptions for many patients in an effort to prevent addictions.

The bill approved Friday generally would limit initial opioid prescriptions written for adults by physicians to a seven-day supply with exceptions for patients in cancer, hospice and long-term care.

The limit would be four days for outpatients at emergency and urgent care facilities.

Prescriptions for minors and prescriptions written by dentists and optometrists would be limited do three days.

West Virginia had the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate in 2016 at 52 per 100,000 residents.

Sen. Ron Stollings, a physician, says doctors are helping shape the legislation, which would increase their workload and could put their licenses at risk.

The bill now goes to the House.

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