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Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

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September 18, 2017View for printing

At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.

The reason, experts say: Opioid drugs are generally cheap while safer alternatives are often more expensive.


Reader Comments:

It's no wonder that there is an opioid crisis in the U.S.

I recently had shoulder surgery and received 45 Oxycodone with a refill for 45 more. I'm sure they were following instructions but everyone involved in the surgery urged me to "stay ahead of the pain" and take multiple pills every 4 hours. I was concerned about the pending pain so I took 2 upon returning home and went to bed. I took 1 more the next morning just to be sure.

I guess I was lucky because I never did experience that much pain and stopped taking them completely. I still felt weird the next day.

When I told a friend who's very involved in healthcare investing that I was going to have surgery, his email consisted of "Don't get hooked." I didn't fully understand it at the time but I do now.

A physician friend of mine said that some people can get hooked in as little as 2 days. I can now see how that happens.

We've got to do something about this now!

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