If you have been injured in a Nevada accident, you likely will end up under the care of a physician who may prescribe pain drugs for your injuries. Depending on your level of pain, you may be prescribed opioids, and state law may have an impact on your treatment. Specifically, Nevada’s legislature has enacted a prescription drug abuse prevention act, effective January 1 of this year. The goal of the act is to assist patients and doctors in reducing the abuse of opioids. Nevada governor Brian Sandoval introduced the measure during his 2017 State of the State address. The bill was passed unanimously through both of Nevada’s houses and signed into law on June 16th, 2017.
The Act’s Goals
The goal of the law, according to Nevada governor’s website on the act, is to prioritize patient responsibility and safety; preserve doctors’ clinical decision-making; promote the relationship between the patient and the prescriber; reduce the number of inappropriate prescriptions; use monitoring and risk mitigation to prevent addiction to prescription drugs; and enhance patients’ quality of care for those suffering from chronic and acute pain conditions.
The Act Explained
The law is divided up into six sections, all which address different areas and requirements regarding prescription drugs. Specifically:
Prescribers must include additional patient information in every prescription for controlled substances;
The law includes a detailed list of factors that prescribers should look at before writing the prescription for the purpose of ensuring patient safety when deciding to prescribe;
Detailed guidelines that must be followed by doctors when issuing an initial prescription for a patient;
Prescriptions that last more than 30 days must include a Prescription Medication Agreement with the patient;
Prescriptions that last more than 90 days must include additional justification as well as a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program report;
Doctors should not prescribe a controlled substance to patients who have received this type of medication for 365 days within a one year period.
How This Affects Nevada Personal Injury Victims
If you or someone you know has suffered a personal injury in Nevada, the state’s prescription drug abuse prevention act may or may not directly affect you. Specifically, if you are not being prescribed a controlled substance because the level of your pain does not necessitate it, then essentially nothing changes. If you are being prescribed controlled substances for your pain condition, however, the physician’s protocols for prescribing these medications have changed. Of note, physicians must handle more paperwork to fulfill state reporting requirements. Critics of the new regulations allege that this will limit a legitimate patient’s access to medically necessary pain medications. Most doctors, however, are supportive of the new law.
Legal Help in Nevada
A personal injury can be life-altering. Beyond physical and emotional injuries, there is also financial pressure that follows. Nevada’s recent law changing prescription drug protocols can further complicate your circumstances. Do not try to handle these issues on your own. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Parry & Pfau have been representing the injured across the state of Nevada for years. Click here today to schedule your initial consultation.
(image courtesy of Pina Messina)