Aug 10, 2020 | legal issues

I'm Not a Doctor, But I Play One in DC

At the 2018 Department of Justice (DOJ) Opioid Summit, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions remarked that opioid prescribing had reached its lowest point in 18 years. Still, the DOJ is committed to reducing opioid analgesic prescriptions an additional 30% to 33% within the next 3 years. More than ever, prescribers of controlled prescription medications are under intense scrutiny from lawmakers, regulators, and payers. At the same time, some 50 million adults in the US have persistent pain, nearly 20 million of whom experience pain that interferes with daily life or work activities.

As noted by the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force (PMTF) in its December 2018 draft report, the trend of healthcare professionals opting out of treating pain has exacerbated the shortage of pain management specialists, leaving some patients without access to individualized care. In this session, a partner in a Washington, DC based health law firm will discuss recent legislative and regulatory activity at the federal level and trends in criminal enforcement. He will also discuss noteworthy developments at the state level and analyze the anticipated benefits, drawbacks, and unintended consequences of such actions on people with pain and those who treat them.

Topics will include the implications of recently passed comprehensive opioid legislation—the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act; a draft report on pain management best practices by PMTF and the pushback against it; and efforts to reform the federal approach to investigating controlled-medication prescribers.