NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) - Some patients and doctors in Indiana are worried that increased restrictions imposed in response to the national opioid epidemic may reduce access to necessary medication.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed three bills into law last month. One of the new laws requires doctors to check the state's drug monitoring database before prescribing opioids or benzodiazepines.
Dr. James Murphy is a pain specialist practicing in New Albany. He says the increased focus on prescribing with little consensus on what doctors should do is leading to a "chilling effect" in doctors' offices.
Murphy says he can see restrictions tightening in coming years through direct legislation or by other barriers to the drugs. But he hopes that if physicians "truly believe a patient needs to be on these medications, they do their homework."