Pain medication bill advances

TRENTON – A bill to prevent health insurers from limiting patients’ access to pain medication cleared the Senate Budget Committee Monday 12-1.

“I want my doctor to be in charge of my medical care, not the insurance companies,’’ said sponsor Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.

“If my doctor says I need a prescription to manage my pain, then that’s what I should get. This goes to the heart of how we provide medical care here.’’

Business opponents to the bill talked of how prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States and of the high cost, in particular, to small employers of providing health care.

But supporters said that while they were cognizant of such problems, the health care needs of truly suffering patients outweighed those concerns.

S2088’s Assembly companion, A1832, passed in that chamber in January of last year.

Pain medication bill advances