The opioid addiction and overdose crisis in the United States has reached epic proportions. News reports, documentaries, and public service announcements desperately try to educate the public on the dangers of these drugs, but the war continues with little progress toward the end. A new law in New Jersey will help combat the war on opioids by limiting payments made by pharmaceutical companies to doctors that prescribe opioid medications.
Until recently, drug manufacturers were permitted to offer physicians incentives for prescribing their medications. With the new ruling, doctors, physician assistants, dentists, nurse practitioners, and all licensed medical prescribers have limits imposed on how much they can accept from drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. This turns the tables on who is responsible for compliance with the new regulations. The prescribing professionals must be aware of incentives that they accept.
The Dangers of Opioids
The new rules will also force prescribers to look deep into the practice of dispensing opioid medications, especially as a first-line treatment for pain management. Pharmaceutical companies often downplay the addictive properties of opioids as they promote their effective pain relief qualities. While most physicians prescribe opioids for the right reasons, many do not realize how quickly patients can become addicted.
Research has shown that four out of five heroin users admit that their addiction began with the use of opioid painkillers prescribed by their doctors for various reasons. When prescription medications became harder to obtain, they turned to heroin, which is an opiate that offers the same effect as prescription opiate medication. Heroin and opioid overdose is so rampant in New Jersey that law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and first responders now carry Narcan, a drug used to reverse an opiate overdose.
New Mandates Hope to Make Moves
Legislators in New Jersey are hopeful that the new mandates that limit what prescribers can accept from pharmaceutical companies will help reduce the amount of opioid addictions and overdoses happening across our country. New Jersey physicians are now prohibited from accepting more than $10,000 per year in compensation for speaking engagements, serving on advisory boards, or acting as consultants on behalf of drug manufacturers.
Prescribers are also prohibited from accepting monetary compensation of any kind, including cash, gift cards, and merchandise with a drug manufacturer logo that would promote a drug or drug manufacturing company, or benefit the physician or staff of a medical office or hospital. Moreover, meals or food of any kind offered to a physician or their staff by a drug manufacturing company cannot exceed a $15 maximum.
New Jersey Opioid Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Represent Victims Injured by Doctors Who Overprescribe OpioidsIf you or someone you know has been injured by a medical professional that overprescribed opiate medication, you may be entitled to compensation via an opioid lawsuit. Call the experienced team of New Jersey opioid lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our three offices are in Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank, New Jersey, and we proudly serve clients throughout the state.