Maine seeks strong limits on opioid prescriptions

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Legislature is poised to pass a bill sponsored by Gov. Paul LePage that would put Maine on the front line of a national movement to monitor and restrict opioid painkillers.

The Republican governor’s bill would limit prescriptions to seven days for acute pain, cap dosages at 100 morphine milligram equivalents per day and require doctors to enter prescriptions into a state database created to prevent patients from “doctor shopping.”

Maine would join a handful of other states, including Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Ohio, which have similar measures.

Opioid drugs, which include morphine and oxycodone, are considered a gateway to heroin. A Legislative panel last week endorsed the bill, and the House and Senate are expected to vote on it in early April.