New Jersey Enacts Strict Opioid Prescribing Law:
Earlier this year, New Jersey signed legislation that limits first-time opioid prescriptions to five days, and establishes strict guidelines for doctors to prescribe more. The measure also requires state-regulated health insurers to cover at least six months of substance abuse treatment.
New Jersey is also taking a hard line against doctors who do not exercise caution in prescribing opioids – since data shows that many people who overdose develop an addiction after getting prescription painkillers.
An analysis by the Star-Ledger, a New Jersey newspaper, found that doctors in the Garden State received roughly $1.6 million from 2013 to 2015 from pharmaceutical companies that marketed fentanyl. At the same time, fentanyl-linked deaths soared – from 42 in 2013 to 417 in 2015.
While the substance originally was presented, validly, as a source of relief for people dealing with cancer-related pain, it was made available to the public in a far less structured manner.