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New Report says Ohio has Improved Policies on Pain Management
Posted on: 06/05/2013
By  Andy Rex
A new report that details progress in state’s policies to improve pain management and patient care is out. The report from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network assigns each state a letter grade.  Associate Director David Woodmansee says Ohio is one state that improved their grade.

“The state of Ohio in this latest report card has gone from a B to a B+, which is great news," Woodmansee says.  "We look at these states and anyone that has an A or a B+, we think they have achieved very balanced policies in regard to the availability of pain medication for cancer patients and those with other serious or chronic diseases.”
 
He says there’s a delicate balance between having laws and regulations that allow for people to get the medications they need to improve their quality of life.
 
“You want those drugs available to those patients that legitimately really need them for pain relief," Woodmansee explains.  "And, you want their doctors to be able to prescribe them without thinking they have big brother looking over their shoulder.  Again, you walk the delicate balance with law enforcement and the job they have to do to make sure those who are abusing and diverting – that they have a grasp on that.  To strike that balance is sometimes difficult to do.”
 
With increased enforcement of laws to curb prescription drug abuse, Woodmansee says that does increase some effects on people, but with states that have good policies, they are minimal.
 
“Having to resubmit prescriptions and get back to the doctor’s office to get a new prescription that has expired – things like that can be a challenge, especially in rural communities," Woodmansee says.  "But, Ohio has done a nice job of putting some safeguards and protections in place that look out for cancer patients, and make sure that while law enforcement is pursuing criminals, cancer patients aren’t being made into criminals because they legitimately need pain medications that happen to be prescription only.”
 
And, he explains what the organization is doing to make sure states minimize potential barriers to treatment.
 
“To work with policy makers, law makers, and legislators to make them understand the impact that their policy decisions and the laws they pass have on cancer patients and other folks with serious or chronic diseases," Woodmansee explains.  "What we try to do is work with them to pass laws that are a little more friendly toward cancer patients.”
 
To learn more about what the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network does, go to www.acscan.org
 
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