WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has declined to endorse a proposal from the nation’s governors to limit the number of high-powered painkillers doctors can prescribe at a time.
Obama hosted the National Governors Association at the White House on Monday. At their meeting this weekend, the governors said limiting the number of Oxycontin pills that doctors can hand out for short-term injuries would help curb the nation’s heroin epidemic.
Obama was cool to the idea, noting that painkillers are sometimes the only realistic treatment option for people in rural communities. He says simply ordering doctors not to overprescribe won’t solve their patients’ problems and that limiting prescriptions should be part of a comprehensive approach.
Addiction to heroin and opiate painkillers is killing 78 Americans a day, according to federal data.