New bill would require painkiller training

Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, R-CA, has introduced legislation aimed at ensuring that powerful prescription painkillers like OxyContin are only prescribed for their intended use – the treatment of severe pain. The Ryan Creedon Act of 2011 would require anyone who prescribes controlled substances to be educated on the risks such drugs pose to patients before they can register with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. DEA registration is already required by federal law.

Unlike President Barack Obama’s recent plan to curb prescription drug abuse – which allows pharmaceutical companies themselves to “educate” doctors on the risks of their products – the bill specifies that this training should be provided by a medical society, a state medical licensing board, an accredited continuing education provider, or “another organization that the Secretary [of Health and Human Services] determines is appropriate for providing such training or certification.”

The bill was named in honor of Ryan Creedon of Palm Desert, Calif., who suffered from a chronic addiction to OxyContin that ultimately resulted in his Feb. 2009 death. Read more about Ryan’s story here.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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