Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has released a proposal that would put new guidelines in place for medical professionals prescribing pain pills.
They include prescribing the lowest effective dose of opioids for pain and for the shortest number of days, and that patients taking such medications be closely monitored.
Doctor Rahul Koranne with the Minnesota Hospital Association said the organization supports this effort because, “One prescription of an opioid can lead, may lead in the right individual, to addiction, heroin, or death.”
Koranne added that it will also be important to bring pharmaceutical companies into the battle. “The pharmaceutical companies that absolutely started this crisis need to be at the table in a real way, with skin in the game, to try to help to solve it,” he stated.
The proposal also includes avoiding prescribing opioids long-term, and carefully managing those patients that have no other alternatives.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in Cottonwood County in 2016 there were nearly 74 opioid prescriptions written for every 100 residents; 66 per 100 people in Blue Earth County; 43 in Watonwan; just 20 in Nicollet County and ten in Le Sueur County.