In an article published last week in Risk & Insurance, Mark Walls commended the regulators at the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) for their bold leadership in the development of model opioid rules that they could recommend to their members, helping to curb the burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem our country faces.
In fact, Walls said, “To their credit, the regulators have stepped up to the plate” on this issue. Well, they may have stepped up to the plate, but they have completely struck out.
I have heard from a reliable little birdie that the IAIABC Executive Committee last week completely abandoned the effort, scrapping a year's worth of work on one of that organizations premier issues for 2013. Apparently the committee has decided that this is not an area they should be attempting to influence regulatory agencies on.
Personally, I am stunned. We are killing people every day with our overuse and abuse of prescription opioid medications. Some statistics say that every hour someone dies from a prescription drug overdose. If regulators should ever have sway or influence over an issue, this one is it, baby.
I like the IAIABC, and the people that make it tick. They truly care. The people who run that organization do big things with a relatively small staff and limited resources. That is what makes this all the more difficult. Being let down by those you respect is one thing, but being let down by one of the only groups that can leverage significant changes on such a critical issue is quite another.
There will be much said on this in the coming days, and we will have to see what the overall impact of this decision is. In the meantime however, it appears that there will be no model opiod rules.
Instead it will just apparently be opiods rule.
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