Maine's Opioid/Heroin Crisis Continues Unabated; Governor Calls for Special Legislative Session

Maine's Opioid/Heroin Crisis Continues Unabated; Governor Calls for Special Legislative Session

Created on: Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Author: Maine Medical Association

On Thursday, both Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills spoke to the Legislature's Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs.   AG Mills presented the latest statistics on overdose deaths and Governor appeared unannounced to ask the Committee and Legislative leadership to call a special session to act on his continuing request for funds to hire additional DEA agents and judges.  To date, legislative leaders have rejected the call for a special session stating that they would want to see a comprehensive legislative proposal first.

In neighboring New Hampshire, the medical licensing board imposed emergency prescribing rules on Friday.  While the rules did not go as far as Governor Hassan's proposals, they are mandatory for the prescribing of any opioid medication with exceptions only for patients with cancer or who are receiving palliative care.  New Hampshire's Executive Council also agreed to Governor Hassan's request for a special session of the legislature to consider several bills addressing the problem of opioid overdose deaths in the state.

In Maine, the three Task Forces established by the U.S. Attorney, Attorney General and Commissioner of Public Safety continue to meet.  The schedule of meetings, including agenda and minutes will soon be posted regularly on the website of the U.S. Attorney at    See article on the Task Forces in this issue of the Weekly Update. There will be information available on the work of the Task Forces at the Association's 25th Annual Practice Education Seminar being held this year in connection with the Annual Meeting of the Maine Health Management Coalition.  The seminar is on Wednesday, Nov. 18th at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.  Registration is still available on the MMA or MHMC website.

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