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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 19, 2017 03:07 PM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation – Limiting Opioid Prescriptions
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation proposing to address the increasing risk of individuals becoming addicted to opioids and heroin after being prescribed painkillers for medical procedures. This measure will be similar to Senate Bill 472 (Yaw) of the 2017-18 Legislative Session.

Specifically, this legislation seeks to limit the prescription for a controlled substance containing an opioid to seven days unless there is a medical emergency that puts the patients’ health or safety at risk. In addition, this measure would require prescribers to discuss the risks of addiction and dangers of overdose associated with opioid medications. Lastly, and just as equally important, this measure would encourage prescribers to first recommend the use of conservative care management (non-pharmacological) treatment prior to issuing a prescription for a controlled substance containing an opioid.

As part of the efforts of the PA HOPE Caucus, several pieces of legislation aimed at addressing the heroin and opioid addiction epidemic were passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Wolf last session. Part of that legislative package was Act 125 of 2016, which limited the prescription of opioids to minors for no more than seven days, with certain exceptions. What my legislation seeks to do is expand that limit to include both minors and adults, while at the same time providing greater non-pharmacological treatment options for patients.

I ask that you please consider joining me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB1712