Agencies plan painkiller restrictions

Washington state is preparing regulations intended to curb the overuse of prescription painkillers, according to an article in the New York Times.

The regulations, being drafted under the direction of the state Legislature, have not been finalized. But they are expected to include a provision that doctors refer patients to a pain specialist if the patient's dosage exceeds a set amount per day without improvement, the newspaper reported.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has formulated similar guidelines and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering tighter controls on opioids as well, according to the story.

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