Experts worry about loopholes in prescription drug bill

ATLANTA (AP) – Lawmakers and advocates are criticizing portions of legislation that would expand the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.

The bill would require doctors to register with and use the database in an effort to curtail the overprescribing of opioids.

Critics, including the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, say loopholes in the proposal would leave patients exposed to harm.

The bill would allow doctors to prescribe up to a ten-day supply of opioids without referencing the database.

A recent CDC study found that risk of addiction goes up significantly after only five days of opioid use.

Physician groups said the database still has problems and the exceptions are necessary to reduce the burden on doctors.

The Senate will discuss and likely vote on the proposal Wednesday.

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