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Letter: We must do more to address the opioid crisis

opioid crisis
Photo Credit: Robert Wilson

Thank you for your recent coverage of the opioid crisis in your Feb. 1 article, “Publicis Health reaches $350M settlement for role in national opioid crisis,” and in your Feb. 6 article, “Two Charlottesville pharmacies to pay combined $1.3 million for filling invalid prescriptions.”

Even as Virginia receives $7.82 million from the settlement to help address the crisis throughout the Commonwealth, a record number of our neighbors and friends continue to die of opioid poisoning.

While these funds and enforcement actions are a step in the right direction, we can – we must – do more to address this crisis beyond after-the-fact measures.

Right now in Richmond, legislators are considering House Bill 699. This important legislation would require that patients prescribed an opioid must also be provided information on the risks of addiction and overdose associated with opioid drugs; specifically, that opioids are highly addictive, even when taken as prescribed. The bill would also require that patients receive information on any alternative treatments that may be available.

Educating patients upfront about the dangers of taking opioids is an important step to getting a handle on this ongoing epidemic.

I strongly encourage our General Assembly representatives to support this bill and start sharing the important, life-saving information to patients, as called for by the legislation.

Letter from Mason Davenport/Charlottesville



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