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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 20, 2018 03:31 PM
From: Senator Ryan P. Aument
To: All Senate members
Subject: Opioid Patient Treatment Agreements
In the near future I plan to introduce legislation to further address the Commonwealth’s opioid epidemic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most recent data estimates that 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose. In Pennsylvania, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported that the total number of fatal drug overdoses in the Commonwealth rose 37% from 2015 to 2016.

But the opioid epidemic does not only impact the user, it impacts the whole family. In fact, 88,000 Pennsylvania grandparents are currently raising 195,000 grandchildren and in about 40% of those cases, drug or alcohol addiction is the main cause.

Enacting public policies, like the legislation I intend to introduce, is necessary to address the Commonwealth’s opioid crisis and to protect the health, safety and welfare of affected citizens in Pennsylvania.

Specifically, my legislation would require new patients who necessitate a prescribed opioid regime to enter into treatment agreements with a prescriber to ensure patients understand the risks of addiction and dangers of overdose associated with the medication and their role and responsibilities regarding their treatment. A provision of the treatment agreement would require patients to undergo baseline drug testing to establish a general assessment of the new patient and periodic drug testing as deemed medically necessary in order to monitor adherence to existing patient treatment plans.

Baseline drug testing performed by a prescriber to identify aberrant behavior, undisclosed drug use and/or abuse and verification of compliance with treatment would be conducted in accordance with recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its 2016 Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain and at the prescriber’s discretion.

No doubt the opioid crisis requires a multi-faceted approach and this legislation is another piece to that puzzle. Please join me in co-sponsoring this proposal.

Introduced as SB1152