- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - State regulators are giving their OK to new parameters for distributing and prescribing opioids in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday’s vote saw the Board of Pharmacy and the Board of Medicine approve two sets of voluntary guidelines for prescribing opioids following a closed-door executive session.

Pennsylvania Physician General Rachel Levine said at the meeting that an overemphasis on pain reduction coupled with the development of more powerful opioids and the influx of cheap heroin has caused the state’s current overdose crisis.

Officials say a record 3,383 Pennsylvanians suffered fatal overdoses in 2015. Levine said that figures for the first quarter of this year suggest that 2016 will be even worse.

Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday that he’s proud of his administration for approving the guidelines.

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