CARSON CITY, Nev. — It will take several months of workshops to iron out regulations with the state of Nevada’s new controls over opioid drug prescriptions.
The Nevada Board of Medical Examiners issued a statement Jan. 11 saying a public workshop on the proposed disciplinary regulations revealed considerable confusion about how to implement Assembly Bill 474’s mandates — including, potentially, negative impacts on patients as well as medical practitioners.
According to the statement, the board is forming a working group to study how the mandates of AB474 (which was approved by the state legislature in 2017) will impact all those involved. The group will include at least two medical board members, a representative from the legislature, representatives from the state Medical association as well as industry stakeholders.
Their goal, according to the board, will be to produce a draft regulation that meets the intent of AB474 while serving the needs of patients and support licensees in their medical practices.
Once approved, the proposed regulations will be submitted to the full board of medical examiners, which will then begin the formal approval process through the Nevada legislative committee that reviews regulations.
AB474 is designed to get a better handle on the state’s opioid addiction and overdose crisis by putting controls in place over prescribing practices, including requiring treatment plans that move patients off of the extremely addictive drugs.
It limits new patients to a 14-day initial prescription for opioids and says without valid cause, no patient should be on those drugs for more than a year.
It also requires much more extensive discussions with patients about the use, dangers and potential abuse of opioid drugs.
In addition, it mandates much more extensive reporting of who’s prescribing the drugs and how much practitioners are prescribing and builds an extensive database to prevent patients from doctor shopping to get multiple prescriptions from several doctors as well as identify doctors prescribing to much of those drugs.