It is time to take action
The Oklahoma 2021 Legislative Session was a whirlwind and a huge SUCCESS!
We started out the year by filing a bill, HB1013, that was one of three bills intended to address the needs of pain patients and protect Oklahoma prescribers. That bill never made it to committee but got the conversation started in many offices across the state.
We worked with Senator Radar and Representative Echols to mold another existing bill into what was signed into law by Governor Stitt in May, Senate Bill 57 #SB57.
This bill allowed us, in addition to a few other changes, to add a sub-section at the end that puts plain language into Oklahoma law reminding patients and practitioners that there is nothing in Oklahoma's state opioid law (The anti-diversion act) that requires limiting or reducing prescribed opioid doses. It delineates the *Standard of Care* as requiring EFFECTIVE and IDIVIDUALIZED pain management - isn't that all any has ever asked for? The final sentence in that sub-section creates a basis for determining 'appropriate dose'. It validates that Oklahoma will defer to FDA approval limits regarding opioid prescribing (sorry CDC) and states that the prescriber determines what is appropriate. This alone is a huge win.
Two of the other changes involve giving patients access to their own PDMP records and to include patients who's pain is caused by cancer, even if their cancer is in remission, in exemptions for certain prescribing requirements.
The final change officially separates palliative care from hospice care, finally aligning Oklahoma law with the most widely accepted definition of palliative care. For far too long it has been inappropriately thought of as synonymous with hospice/end of life care or been associated strictly with opioid prescribing - neither are accurate.
Click below for a pdf that shows each change and it's implications. While there are definitely more ripples in the system coming because of this bill, this is all the lawyers would let us claim publicly.
The great news is, we are hearing incredible feedback from prescribers across the state of Oklahoma and learning of patients who were abandoned in 2016 finally finding adequate care.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
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