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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: November 5, 2015 10:56 AM
From: Senator Gene Yaw and Sen. John N. Wozniak
To: All Senate members
Subject: Continuing medical education requirements for medical professionals
In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation to require “pain management” and “prescribing practices of opioids” to be included in continuing medical education credits for those professionals licensed to prescribe in the Commonwealth.

According to a National Survey of Primary Care Physicians, nine out of 10 doctors reported prescription drug abuse as a moderate to large problem in their communities, and 85 percent believed that prescription drugs are overused in clinical practice.

To date, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative research agency of the General Assembly, has held seven public hearings on the heroin and opioid epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth.

During the hearings, testimony offered indicated that approximately 80 percent of heroin addicts can trace their addiction back to prescription opioids. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Vital Signs report also confirmed that health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every adult in the United States to have a bottle of prescription painkillers.

Effective medical education is a critical part of this complex issue, and we believe this will help alleviate the rising abuse of prescription opioids.

We hope you will join us in support of this legislation.

Introduced as SB1202