Chronic pain sufferers in Rhode Island celebrated a victory on Thursday night when the House of Representatives unanimously passed “Claudia’s Bill,” which would exempt them from federal limits on opioid painkillers. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Gregg Amore, said the Senate will likely greenlight the bill before the end of the legislative session this month.Claudia Merandi, who wrote the bill with Amore, said its passage will act as “a beacon of hope” for people in pain across the country.

The unseen victims of the opioid crisis are people with pain,” Merandi said. “Punishing people with pain will never curb the overdosing epidemic, it will simply create a greater epidemic: an under-prescribed country.”

Rep. Amore said he believes the bill will pass in the Senate.

“We need to deal with pain on a case by case basis and let physicians care for their patients,” The East Providence Democrat said. “Patients in chronic pain have been unintended collateral damage in a well intentioned public policy attempt to battle the opioid crisis.”

The bill is now headed to the Senate for consideration.


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