Wyoming Doctors May Soon be Limited When Prescribing Opioids

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. State house labor, health, and social services committee members passed a bill limiting opioid prescription supply lengths to seven says for patients with acute pain.

"The number of days that a person takes an opioid medication is associated with addiction to opioid medicines so that's why it's limited." Said Representative Timothy Hallinan of Campbell County.

The bill was originally supposed to call for a 14 day supply limited but the committee amended it to seven.

"Based upon data that if you, at five days and ten days of using an opioid, your propensity for addiction skyrockets." Explained Representative Scott Clem of Campbell County.

Some fear, however, a seven-day limit could hurt Wyoming's rural population.

Clem says the bill covers them too.

"Those cases, they're few and far between. They're very minute. And so that's why we do have in the bill that the Board of Pharmacy can, by reasonable rule and regulation, make some of those exceptions." He said.

He also said regardless of the number of days, it's about reducing the supply of opioids.

"When we limit the amount of opioids that are out there the propensity for abuse declines. That's really the whole idea."

The bill does provide exceptions for chronic pain, palliative care, cancer patients, and other medically necessary reasons.

State senators passed the bill with a 14 day limit on January 15th.