March 18, 2021
Arkansas Society of Anesthesiologists and American Society of Anesthesiologists Applaud Arkansas Senate Public Health Committee on Passing SB 505 Giving Protection to Patients Prescribed Opioids
CHICAGO – The Arkansas Society of Anesthesiologists (ARSA) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) today applaud bill sponsor Sen. Cecile Bledsoe and the Arkansas Senate Public Health, Labor and Welfare Committee for helping to ensure the safety of patients prescribed opioids. Arkansas State Drug Director Kirk Lane and Jonathan Goree, M.D., a physician anesthesiologist and pain medicine specialist, testified for the bill.
“This is a big win for Arkansas patients. Opioids can pose risks even when prescribed appropriately. Overdoses are on the rise and it’s important to equip patients and their families with a way to prevent people from dying,” said ARSA President Caroline Reynolds, M.D. “This bill will require that naloxone, a drug that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose, be prescribed to certain at-risk patients to protect them from possible overdose and its consequences. As champions for patient safety and being pain medicine specialists, Arkansas’s physician anesthesiologists wholly support this bill.”
SB 505 passed unanimously out of the Arkansas Senate Public Health, Labor and Welfare Committee yesterday and is set to be voted on by the full Senate.
The bill would amend the Naloxone Access Act by requiring naloxone also be prescribed to patients when they receive an opioid prescription beyond a certain dosage (50 morphine milligram equivalents); are also taking or have been prescribed “benzodiazepine,” a sedative; or have a history of opioid use disorder or drug overdose.
ARSA and ASA congratulate the Sen. Bledsoe and Arkansas Senate Public Health committee on this important bill that protects patients. Opioids are powerful drugs that can help manage pain, but it’s important to use them under a physician’s supervision to avoid overuse and addiction.
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 54,000 members organized to advance the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/MadeforThisMoment. Like ASA on Facebook, follow ASALifeline on Twitter.
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