Saying the state faces a continuing public health crisis, Governor Deval Patrick’s administration imposed sweeping restrictions Tuesday on prescribing the powerful painkiller Zohydro, just before a ban on the controversial drug was set to expire.
A federal judge overturned the state’s ban last week, saying the Patrick administration was overstepping its authority. But she delayed the decision until Tuesday, giving the governor time to respond with controls he said will allow regulators to monitor how the drug is being prescribed and used.
The state Board of Registration in Medicine approved one restriction Tuesday that would require prescribers to complete a risk assessment and pain management treatment agreement with patients before prescribing the drug. The agreement would require drug screening and monitoring of the number of pills prescribed, among other conditions the prescriber may find necessary.