Senate withdraws bill targeting physicians
Largely because of pressure from ACP-ASIM and the Coalition to Improve Pain Management, a group the College helped found, the Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act will not be enacted this year.
Supporters of the measure originally sought to enact the bill this year as a freestanding measure. When it appeared there was not enough time or support to pass the bill, however, its backers moved to include it in the federal budget package, which had to be passed to keep the government running. In mid-October, the Senate dropped the bill from the budget package.
If the bill had passed, a physician could have lost his DEA license if the agency could show that the physician intended to prescribe drugs to help patients end their lives. The College opposed the bill, arguing that physicians would be more reluctant to prescribe pain medication and that patient privacy would be jeopardized by the disclosure of confidential information during investigations.
Although the bill was defeated this Congress, the bill's chief sponsor, Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), promised to introduce it again next year.
For more on Congress' actions in health care, see Washington Perspective.
Internist Archives Quick Links
What will you learn from your Annals Virtual Patient?
Annals Virtual Patients is a unique patient care simulator that mirrors real patient care decisions and consequences. CME Credit and MOC Points are available. Start off with a FREE sample case. Start your journey now.
Products and Resources for Patients
ACP has developed easy- to-use materials designed to help educate your patients on self-management of a wide variety of common health conditions. Order yours today!