Concerns voiced over Kasich’s painkiller guidelines

The Columbus Dispatch this morning is carrying an article in which it relays “some medical experts are saying that the new state guidelines for Ohio physicians who prescribe opioid painkillers announced by the Kaisich administration yesterday could cause temporary care disruptions for some patients suffering with chronic pain,” following up on our post mentioning those guidelines yesterday.

“The idea behind the guidelines,” the Dispatch article (subscription) said, “is to better monitor what drugs patients are receiving & flag cases in which they are taking more than 80 milligrams in Morphine Equivalent Daily Doses --- a measure of opioid strength or the equivalent of taking eleven 5-mg.oxycodone pills a day --- at which point physicians should re-evaluate the ‘effectiveness & safety of the patient’s pain management plan.’ Medical experts, though,  say patients who are on medication of 80 milligrams or more are at a much greater risk of overdoses and addiction."

State spokesmen said the guidelines were intended to "supplement, not replace, precriber clinical judgment."