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Insurer's 30-day prescription limit aims to cut painkiller abuse

The Washington Post, June 12, 2012

In an effort to curb abuse of powerful painkillers, Massachusetts's largest insurer is going to restrict doctors' ability to write new prescriptions to 30 days' worth of pills before a mandatory review by the insurer. Officials at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts say the policy, which begins July 1, will prevent doctors from prescribing 60 days of a painkiller such as OxyContin, for example, for a minor problem such as a sprained ankle. Patients with such serious or chronic conditions as cancer or those who are terminally ill will be permitted to continue to receive opioid painkillers.