Medical Community Divided On Medicare's Policy to Shorten High-Dose Opioid Prescriptions

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Jackson, 27, who said he is addicted to prescription medication, lies passed out in a public library on March 14, 2016 in New London, CT. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)

In an effort to curb the ongoing opioid crisis, Medicare finalized on Monday a rule discontinuing payment for long-term, high-dose opioid prescriptions. The regulation will limit coverage to seven days for prescriptions equivalent to 90 milligrams or more of morphine daily, beginning in 2019. Proponents say the rule will reduce addiction, but critics say it could drive patients to seek illicit drugs and suicide. We speak with experts in the field about the regulation's potential benefits and consequences.

Mary Agnes Carey, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News
Anna Lembke, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford University Medical Center; author, "Drug Dealer, MD: How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It's So Hard to Stop"
Andy Tompkins, associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Substance Abuse and Addiction Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine