Bill sets limits on opioid prescriptions.
State Representative Walter F. Timilty, announces that House Bill 3944, “An Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention,” has been passed to be engrossed in the House of Representatives.
Representative Timilty, along with his colleagues in the House, voted for this legislative proposal in response to the rampant opioid crisis that currently plagues the Commonwealth.
Specifically, House Bill 3944 establishes a limitation for all first time opioid prescriptions, pertaining to adults. This limit will be set at a seven day maximum. Additionally, the bill creates a limitation on all opioid prescriptions for minors. Mirroring the limitation imposed upon adult prescriptions, the seven-day maximum will be applied to minors as well. Exceptions have been provided for chronic pain management, cancer, and palliative care.
Furthermore, House Bill 3944 mandates that practitioners will be required to consult with a, newly established, prescription-monitoring program, in each instance that a practitioner seeks to prescribe an opioid drug. The practitioner must, also, correspondingly, note, in the patient’s medical records, as to whether or not they are prescribing an additional prescription for opioid drugs.
Additionally, in an effort to build upon the current prevention efforts, the proposed legislation updates the current law requiring that all public schools maintain a policy regarding substance abuse education, by mandating that both public and charter schools report their plans to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. At this point the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will then consult with the Department of Public Health to provide recommendations that will both assist schools and ensure that they are providing effective and up-to-date education.
Moreover, the bill provides that additional education materials will be made available to all student-athletes.
“…this legislation will provide the vital resources that are essential for addressing the suffering that is being experienced by many so many families.” — Rep. Timilty
Commenting on yesterday’s passage, through the engrossment stage in the House of Representatives, Timilty reiterated, “This week’s proposed legislation will serve to enhance the abilities of those providing prescriptions to both screen and treat patients. Furthermore, House Bill 3944 presents a sensible approach for confronting the issues of both prevention and treatment. Most importantly, this legislation will provide the vital resources that are essential for addressing the suffering that is being experienced by many so many families.”