New opioid prescription rules coming for U.S. employees’ health plans

Tighter rules on opioid painkiller prescriptions for U.S. government employees will be implemented in the fall, the Trump Administration says.

The new Federal Employee Health Benefits Program rules are meant to prevent overprescribing of the potentially addictive drugs to patients who might require them for only a short period of time, the Associated Press reported. Patients with intractable pain from cancer and other conditions will still be able to get opioid painkillers.

Under the new rules, an initial prescription will be limited to seven days instead of up to 30 days, and patients will be allowed up to three refills of seven days apiece. Formal prescription reauthorization that involves consultation with a health professional will be required every 28 days, the AP reported.

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