Governor's opioid restriction making doctors fearful, Salem senior says


YOUNGSTOWN

While the governor’s office stresses that rules limiting opioid prescriptions to seven days will not affect those with chronic conditions, some Valley seniors are concerned.

Ralph Kane of Salem is one of them. He takes a small dose of an opioid painkiller to manage a muscle disorder that leaves him in pain about half the day. He has friends in similar situations.

“We’re in our 70s and 80s,” he said. “Without the medication we pretty much lie in the house; with it, we can play tennis and go hiking and stuff.”

Kane said he is incensed that older people may be asked to pay for the actions of young people. He also questions Gov. John Kasich’s authority on medical matters.

“He’s not my doctor,” Kane said. “And I don’t think he should be telling my doctor how to prescribe medicine.”

Kasich spokesperson Emmalee Kalmbach said Kane shouldn’t worry.

But Kane is still concerned the regulatory environment will make doctors hesitant to prescribe painkillers to patients who could benefit from them.

“In the last couple years, [my doctor has] become so afraid of government regulations that he won’t prescribe the medication, and I think that’s going to happen to a lot of doctors.”

Read more about the matter in Wednesday's Vindicator or on VIndy.com.

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