3 years ago
robertr
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New Restrictions on Painkillers
Just last year, Representative Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan — the House’s biggest recipient during the last election cycle of drug industry campaign contributions, with nearly $300,000 — blocked a measure that would have imposed the restrictions the F.D.A. backed last week. Among the provisions in the bill, pushed by Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, was one that is central to the new F.D.A. recommendations: reducing to 90 days the length of time in which a patient could obtain refills for painkillers containing hydrocodone without a doctor visit. The drugs are now widely sold by generic producers. Mr. Upton, who is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, argued that imposing new limits would harm patients who needed the drugs, which are used to treat pain from injuries, arthritis, dental extractions and other problems. That stance was echoed by patient groups, lobbyists representing drug makers, pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS, local drugstores and physicians groups like the American Medical Association.
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