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Attorney General Jackley Joins Challenge to Insurance Companies to Combat the Opioid Addiction Epidemic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Monday, September 18, 2017    
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215       

PIERRE, S.D. – In a letter to several insurance providers, Attorney General Marty Jackley joined 37 Attorneys General from across the United States, urging proactive steps to encourage healthcare providers to prioritize non-opioid pain management options over opioid prescriptions.
“There is a growing national opiate epidemic that is affecting South Dakota and our families and communities,” said Jackley. “Although we have worked hard as a State on the prevention of prescription drug abuse with our doctors, pharmacists and Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, I remain concerned about the public health reports across the nation.  The Attorneys General are reaching out to insurance providers to join with us in this important addiction fight by being proactive in reducing opioid prescriptions.”
Describing the opioid epidemic as “the preeminent public health crisis of our time,” the 37 attorneys general are addressing industry trade groups and major insurance providers nationwide. The Attorneys General urge insurers to review their coverage and payment policies as the starting point in a coalition-initiated dialogue focused on incentive structures across the insurance industry.
The Attorneys Generals are looking for solutions to combat the opioid epidemic and recognize that insurance companies can play an important role in reducing opioid prescriptions and making it easier for patients to access other forms of pain management treatment. Adopting an incentive structure that rewards the use of non opioid pain management techniques for chronic, non-cancer pain would have many benefits. Adopting such policies would benefit patients, society, and insurers alike.

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