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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 31, 2013 03:54 PM
From: Representative Stephen Barrar
To: All House members
Subject: Prescription Drug Abuse (Prior HB 1635)
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce H.B. 1635 (with two minor, non-controversial changes). This bill deals with the prevention of prescription drug abuse, which has become a growing and alarming epidemic in the U.S. Opioids, which are used to treat pain, are at high risk of abuse. Through innovative research and development, prescription drug manufacturers are now able to produce opioids with properties that are designed to prevent and deter abuse. The new formulations are designed to prevent abusers, including children and youth who steal pills from medicine cabinets, from being able to chew or grind and then snort or inject the active ingredient for a quick high. Studies indicate these new formulations are working as intended and have dramatically reduced abuse.

When a physician or other prescriber determines a patient should have a product designed to prevent abuse, there are two situations that might prevent the patient from getting the product. First, we have a mandatory generic substitution law that requires pharmacists to automatically substitute with a generic and, second, some insurance companies require substitution.

My legislation does not require health care providers to prescribe abuse deterrent formulations. However, when a prescriber believes an abuse deterrent drug is the best option for the patient, the bill will prevent the pharmacist from automatically substituting without first notifying the prescriber. It does allow pharmacists to substitute an abuse deterrent opioid with another abuse deterrent opioid, without notifying the prescriber.

Prescription drugs have become an entranceway into the world of drug abuse and this legislation will help reduce those situations where the pills are ground and injected or snorted. The bill will not eliminate all types of abuse, but it is one step in the prevention of abuse.

Last session, this bill was supported by: National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, Inc., Center for Lawful Access and Abuse Deterrence, American Academy of Pain Management, American Society for Pain Management Nursing, US Pain Foundation, American Chronic Pain Association, and the Kidney Cancer Association.

Introduced as HB1176