SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

HB 159 is a State Government overreach

By John Suter


April 03, 2017
Monday PM

To the Editor 

In regards to HB 159, prescription pain medications are regulated by the Federal Government and Medical Professionals.  HB 159 is a State Government overreach, which will consequently cause harm to seniors, the chronically ill and those who are recovering from surgery.  HB 159 is treating monitored prescribed pain killers as if they were illegal drugs.  Taxing prescribed opioid drugs is attacking the weak; those who are undergoing treatment for pain.  Limiting prescribed opioid drugs will make it more difficult for those people who are ill because they will have to rely on others to take them to the pharmacy on a weekly basis vs. a monthly basis.  Right now under Federal Law people who need prescribed pain medicine must see their doctor on a monthly basis.  If HB 159 passes then, those who are in need of pain management will need to see their doctor on a weekly basis. 

We do not have enough doctors in Alaska who will work with Insurance Companies; therefore, it limits patients to only a small number of doctors.  Doctors will not be able to handle the increased patient load to prescribe opioid medications to those in need. 

Another deep concern is for those people who live in remote communities by only having access to weekly prescribed pain medication because if the weather is in poor conditions and planes cannot fly, then you’ll be leaving those who are ill to suffer in pain. 

We, as a State, are in the process in cutting budget costs.  If HB 159 passes, there is the concern that the State of Alaska will be sued because of the pain and suffering the legislators have brought onto those who are medically ill if they don’t get their pain medication in time.  HB 159 does not serve well those who need pain relief medications.  Prescription opioid drugs needs to remain up to the Federal Government to regulate and for the Medical Professionals to discuss treatment plans with their patients on a monthly basis. 

Don’t fix it if it is not broke.  On this issue, things need to be as they were.

John Suter
Chugiak, Alaska


Received March 31, 2017 - Published April 03, 2017

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