Virginia Board Creates New Opioid Prescription Guidelines

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In a story Feb. 21 about opioid prescription guidelines in Virginia, The Associated Press reported erroneously comments made by an official with the Medical Society of Virginia, which helped develop the guidelines. Ralston King said that while the new guidelines are complex, the goal is to ensure patients do not turn to street drugs. He did not say the guidelines were intentionally designed to be complex.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Virginia board creates new opioid prescription guidelines

Virginia’s Board of Medicine has approved new guidelines that will give it permission to specifically regulate the prescribing of opioids for pain

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s Board of Medicine has approved new guidelines that will give it permission to specifically regulate the prescribing of opioids for pain.

Media outlets report the board voted on the regulations Thursday. They’ll go into effect after receiving the governor’s signature. The decision was made in response to the state’s ongoing opioid epidemic.

The regulations dictate how many opioids can be prescribed depending on the situation, and stipulate that other pain treatments should be considered before opioids are prescribed.

Providers must do a thorough physical examination and determine the patient’s history before prescribing opioids. The patient must also be given the overdose-reversal drug Naloxone.

Ralston King of the Medical Society of Virginia says “it’s a very complex system, and our intent is to make sure that we encourage better prescribing so we can hopefully ensure that patients don’t turn to street drugs.” The society helped to develop the new guidelines.

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