Sample Nursing Letter on Dispensation-Limits on Opioid-Based Prescriptions

Dispensation-Limits on Opioid-Based Prescriptions

30th April 2020,

Honourable Representative Chris Smith,

U.S House of Representatives,

2373 Rayburn house Office Building, Washington DC,

20515-3004

Dear Representative Smith

RE: Support of the proposed bill on dispensation limits of Opioid-based prescriptions.

My name is (name), a constituent and a certified nurse practitioner at Capital Health Primary Care-Bordentown. I am writing to seek your support on bill no. A469. The bill proposes specific limits should be put in place to guide health practitioners when administering prescriptions to patients, especially minors and first time users of opioid-based pain relievers.

I am seeking your support because:

  • The number of cases due to opioid overdose is still high despite measures effected in 2018 to curb opioid dependence. The preliminary trend statistics of 2019 indicate 3021 deaths (Office of the governor, 2020).
  • The bill is aimed at providing guidelines to healthcare givers as well as pharmacists on appropriate prescription limits of opioid-based relievers. Under section (a) of this bill, a patient should be given a prescription supply not exceeding seven days.

This bill has already been introduced in the house awaiting approval by the legislative counsel. As a member of the health committee; I believe your support will guarantee the bill is approved for hearing in the house. The directives stipulated in the bill are corrective measures in support of the “Opioid prevention Act” to help curb dependence on opioid-relievers. And consequently reduce the prevalence of overdose deaths in the state.

I request your support in the congress to enable the bill become a law. In doing so, all health practitioners will have guidelines to follow when dispensing opioid prescriptions and cases of practitioners’ misconduct will be eliminated. Attached is a copy of the New Jersey Nurses Association policy brief for your reference. For any questions concerning the bill, you can reach me via the contact information provided below. Thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

(Name), (Legal title)

(Contact information)

NEW JERSEY NURSES ASSOCIATION: POLICY BRIEF

Does a Loophole Exist in the Fight Against Opioid-Dependence?

Executive Statement

Corrective measures have been implemented to curb opioid overdose in the state of New Jersey. Still, the number of Opioid related death is high. Per the preliminary 2019-end year statistics, Governor Murphy noted that there was a 3% decline in number of deaths despite occurrence of 3021 overdose deaths in the state (Office of the governor, 2020). This trend indicates that there is a loophole in the fight against opioid epidemic.

Background

Various cases have been present in the courts involving prescription misconducts by health practitioners. For instance, In Burlington County, Dr. Morris Starkman, owner of Bordentown Family Medicine   was accused of prescribing illegal doses of Opioids amounting to 1.4M.  Another suit was filed in North Jersey against Dr. Robert Delagente involving distribution of opioids such as Oxycodone without legitimate medical purpose (Levinsky, 2019). The two cases portray loopholes in the fight against opioids. In addition,  the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that 90% of the overdose deaths reported in 2018 was due to opiod prescriptions.

Recommendation

Specified limits on opiod-dispensation should be put in place to act as guardrail when prescribing doses. These measures will assist stakeholders in the drug industry to combat opioid-dependence in the following ways.

  • Health practitioners will know the correct doses to dispense to patients while the public will be aware of appropriate doses of Schedule II opioids.
  • Pharmaceutical companies on the other hand will be able to regulate the amount of opioid content used during drug manufacturing.

Hence the proposed bill A469 in the Assembly is necessary to help cover the existing loophole and consequently control dependence on opioids even before it starts.

Sources:

Levinsky, D. (2019). Prosecutor: Ex-Bordentown doctor prescribed 1.4M doses of opioids. Burlington County Times. Retrieved from https://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/29191204/prosecutor:ex-bordentown-doctor-prescribed-1.4m-doses-of-opioids?template=ampath

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). New Jersey: Opioid-involved deaths and related harms. Retrieved from www.drugabuse.gov/opioid-summaries-by-state-/new-jersey-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms

 

References

Office of the Governor. (2020). Governor Murphy announces preliminary 2019 year-end opioid statistics and highlights administration-wide efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in New Jersey. Official Site of the State of New Jersey. Retrieved from https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/approved/20200108a.shtml

A469. New Jersey Legislature: Bills 2020-2021. Retrieved from https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp