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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 3, 2019 12:48 PM
From: Representative Ryan A. Bizzarro
To: All House members
Subject: Enhancing Penalties for Theft of Older Adults’ Prescription Medication
The elderly population in Pennsylvania continues to grow; since 2010, Pennsylvania’s greatest population increase occurred in adults aged 60 years and older. Approximately 18 percent of the population is 65 years of age or older, making our state’s elderly population one of the highest in the nation. Pennsylvania’s rapidly aging population unfortunately presents an opportunity for prescription medication theft­. Nearly one-third of all prescriptions dispensed in the United States are for adults aged 65 years and older, which makes these drugs more susceptible to diversion by caregivers, family and others.

In an effort to address the rising potential for exploitation of older adults’ prescription medications, I am introducing legislation to enhance penalties for crimes against elderly persons. Specifically, offenses relating to theft of prescription medication by deception or extortion would result in a mandatory prison sentence of at least six months. Theft of prescription medication by unlawful taking or disposition would result in a mandatory prison sentence of at least one year.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation in an attempt to further protect Pennsylvania’s older adults from abuse and exploitation.

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Introduced as HB537