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Tomah VA and Prescribing

Release Date: January 16, 2015
Contact: Kendi Parvin - 608.442.3748 kendi.parvin@wismed.org

The following is a statement on recent news articles regarding the Tomah VA and prescribing, attributable to Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Donn Dexter, MD:

“The recent Journal Sentinel stories regarding opioid prescriptions at a Wisconsin VA hospital are certainly troubling. Any future investigation must allow for full due process to ensure all facts are discovered and any reasoning for the historic rise in prescribing can be explored.

“Many entities have important roles to play in fighting opioid and illegal drug abuse. Physicians and policymakers stand together not just with law enforcement in fighting illegal activity, but also in pursuing new methods for improving prescribing practices and addiction prevention.

“Last session’s HOPE agenda was the first step in a strategy to fight heroin and other illegal drug addictions. This biennium the HOPE agenda will continue that fight both inside and outside the halls of the Capitol. New laws alone cannot result in fundamental change – only the coordinated actions of all entities affected by both illegal and legal drug addiction can move Wisconsin forward in this vital area.”

About the authors:
State Assembly Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) spearheaded last session’s Heroin and Opiate Prevention and Education (HOPE) Agenda, a series of bills aimed at combating Wisconsin’s growing heroin and drug addiction issue. Doctor Dexter is the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Chief Medical Officer.