Corleone: Legislature must consider the needs of ailing patients

Corleone: Legislature must consider the needs of ailing patients

Corleone: Legislature must consider the needs of ailing patients It is clear that the opioid epidemic has taken a significant toll on Rhode Island’s communities. But taking away access to legitimate pain management medications for patients with chronic pain should not be our legislature’s response. Unfortunately, politicians in Providence are working on a bill that could do just that by levying taxes on physician-prescribed medications that contain opioids. I hope that they will recognize what is at stake and vote against S 798. Managing chronic diseases, such as fibromyalgia, is no small task. Chronic pain patients across the state, myself included, rely on prescription opioid medications to subside our pain and go about our daily lives. Thankfully, we are able to work with our physicians to find treatment plans that treat our painful symptoms. In our case, there is a clear and legitimate place for these medications in the healthcare system. The same is true for many other patients such as those living with cancer and those undergoing or recovering from most surgical procedures. Legislators and the public must recognize that this harmful policy is modeled after a misguided proposal in New York. Even after its implementation, New York’s law receives considerable opposition from patients and healthcare providers who are concerned that the costs of this tax will be passed on to healthcare facilities and patients. Rhode Island lawmakers shouldn’t go down this same path. Our legislature must consider the needs of ailing patients and passing this law will do the opposite.

Kristine Corleone

Burrillville