NJ Patient Notification Law Introduced by Congress to Help Prevent Opioid Addiction Nationally

I wanted to let you know about the Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act, a new law that has been introduced in Congress to help prevent opioid addiction across the country. This act would create a grant program to incentivize states to require prescribers to discuss the addictive qualities of the drugs with patients and inform them of alternative treatment options before prescribing them for acute pain.

This new legislation is based on the success of the New Jersey Patient Notification Act, which was passed in 2017, and has since served as the model for legislation in 18 other states. It requires prescribers to notify patients or their parents and guardians about the addictive nature of opioids, as well as non-opioid alternatives available, prior to prescribing an opioid.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey commissioned a study that concluded the Patient Notification Act has had a profound impact on the state's fight against the opioid epidemic.  It found that prior to the enactment of the law only 18 percent of the participants warned patients about the risk of opioid addiction when prescribing opioids. Following the law's passage, 95 percent routinely warned patients about the risk of addiction.

Opioid addiction and overdose deaths appear to have increased in the past year, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act will help provide patients the knowledge to make informed decisions about what treatment option is right for them. Its goal is to prevent opioid addiction before it even gets started and to hopefully save lives. 

Prevent Opioid Abuse has created a simple way for you to show support by asking your Congressional representative to co-sponsor the bill. Click here to easily enter your name and address for a letter to be automatically be sent to your local Congressperson. I hope you will join us in supporting the Opioid Patients’ Right to Know Act.

Continued wishes to stay safe and well.

Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director - PDFNJ

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