Petition Combating Opioid Addiction Could Hurt Patients

Dr. Gregory Collins, who heads the Cleveland Clinic's Alcohol and Drug Recovery Center, said he believes there are other, better ways to combat prescription drug abuse than what the 37 doctors have outlined in their petition.

"While I share the grave concerns about the epidemic of opiate medication abuse and its associated mortality," he said. "I believe that the proposed measure unduly restricts doctors' access to opiate medication in the treatment of numerous noncancer but painful conditions."

Many doctors who spoke to ABC News said insurance companies should provide coverage for alternative therapies for chronic pain regardless of whether they agreed or disagreed with the overall petition.

An FDA spokesperson said the agency would respond to Public Citizen. In the meantime, it will allow interested parties to provide input on the issue before it is approved or denied.

The Drug Enforcement Agency declined to comment.

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