April 14, 2021

Sen. Lawson’s bill that excludes chronic intractable pain from medication prescribing guidelines passed by the Senate

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State House – Sen. Valarie J. Lawson’s (D-Dist. 14, East Providence) legislation (2021-S 0384A) that would exclude chronic intractable pain from the definition of “acute pain management” for the purposes of prescribing opioid medication was passed by the Senate tonight.

“There is no denying that we are still grappling with the severity of the opioid crisis and the pandemic has only made this matter worse, but we also cannot forget that to some, this medication allows them to function in their daily lives due to extreme chronic pain. This bill allows our doctors to treat their patients suffering from chronic pain how they best see fit and provides these patients with the pain relief that they so desperately need,” said Senator Lawson.

Chronic intractable pain is defined as pain that is excruciating, constant, incurable, and of such severity that it dominates virtually every conscious moment. It also produces mental and physical debilitation.

The bill calls for new guidelines for the treatment of chronic intractable pain be based upon the consideration of the individualized needs of patients suffering from chronic intractable pain. The legislation acknowledges that every patient and their needs is different, especially those suffering from chronic pain.

Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence) has introduced companion legislation (2021-H 5247) in the House of Representatives which was passed on March 9 and referred to the Senate.

Senator Lawson’s bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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