Washington, DC – Fred C. Bosse, Southwest region vice president for the American Insurance Association (AIA), issued the following statement after Governor Mary Fallin’s (R-OK) signing of HB 1948 into law. The legislation, which takes effect November 1, requires that a physician check the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) before prescribing opioids to a patient.
Opioids are synthetic versions of opium-derived drugs which are used to provide relief from chronic pain. There remains little credible evidence that long-term opioid use is the appropriate treatment for many workplace injuries as it often does not lead to improved long-term health outcomes.
Mr. Bosse’s Statement Follows:
“Opioid abuse remains one of the most urgent issues facing the workers’ compensation system nationally. This is more than just an economic issue, it is a societal issue that’s harming injured workers and preventing them from achieving a full recovery.
“By strengthening Oklahoma’s PDMP and requiring physicians to check the database before issuing a prescription, HB 1948 is a necessary tool to combat this epidemic. It should help to ensure that patients are receiving the proper treatment for their injuries while also preventing long-term dependency.
“AIA would like to thank Governor Fallin for her steadfast leadership on this issue, and HB 1948’s sponsors Rep. Doug Cox and Sen. A.J. Griffin.”