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Donnelly seeks to reduce opioid prescriptions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A U.S. Senate hearing Wednesday explored how seniors are affected by opioid drugs.

State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams appeared at the invitation of Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana.)

Dr. Adams told the Special Committee on Aging that it needs to investigate how drug companies market opioid pain killers.

“We’re trying to encourage smarter prescribing,” he said in a WISH-TV interview before the hearing. “And I’ll be frank, yes, less prescribing. When you look at Medicare and the number one drug that is given out to Medicare patients is Vicodin and Nocor. It’s an opioid.”

Senator Donnelly is working on legislation to create guidelines for better prescription practices.

“Instead of a prescription with 30 pills maybe the prescription has 4 or 5,” he said. “And then if somebody needs a couple after that, they can go back and get a few more.”

The committee heard that unused pills often end up in the hands of addicts.