Drug Companies Resisted Washington State’s Effort to Limit Opioid Prescribing

Drug manufacturers and nonprofits funded by those companies resisted efforts by Washington state to place limits on prescriptions for opioid painkillers, according to the Associated Press and Center for Public Integrity.

In 2007, the state drafted guidelines requiring pain specialists to approve prescriptions for high doses of opioids. The Pain Care Forum, a national network of drug companies and nonprofits friendly to the industry, agreed to pay a public relations consultant to create a campaign urging patient access to painkillers, the article notes.

Despite drug industry lobbying, the Washington Legislature passed the guidelines in 2010. Since then, the state has experienced a slower increase in overdose deaths than almost all other states.