Publication date: Mar 24, 2020
Berger went on to discuss the 1919 interpretation of the Harrison Act of 1915-that keeping an opioid dependent patient -comfortable by maintaining his customary [opioid] use was not a prescription, within the meaning of the law . . . .” As a result, physicians became targets for arrest and imprisonment for prescribing narcotics to control withdrawal symptoms in attempt to make their patients comfortable.
Other off-label medications also were used for reducing opioid withdrawal symptoms, including the use of clonidine for opioid withdrawal along with other non-opioid medications.
Progress has been more evident during these more recent 50 years, moving us further away from the 1919 decisions that made it illegal to provide medical help to people with an opioid addiction.
In addition to these maintenance approaches to treatment, aids for managing the symptoms of opioid discontinuation, such as clonidine and most recently lofexidine, also became available.
However, along with the more humane treatments for addiction, an opposing trend began from the pharmaceutical industry to increase sales of opioids for managing -insufficiently treated” chronic pain syndromes.
In Ohio and in a recent Oklahoma case, the judge stated that one company -engaged in false and misleading marketing of both their drugs and opioids generally, and the law makes clear that such conduct is more than enough to serve as the act or omission necessary to establish the first element of Oklahoma’s public nuisance law. “
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