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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 1, 2019 03:45 PM
From: Senator Gene Yaw
To: All Senate members
Subject: Enhancing Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation expanding the Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions Program (ABC-MAP) Act, which established Pennsylvania’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), to include veterinarians.

Veterinarians and veterinary hospitals can be registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and in many states can administer, prescribe, stock, and dispense opioids, often without a reporting requirement to a state’s PDMP.

According to Pennsylvania’s ABC-MAP Act - Act 191 of 2014 - a prescriber is a person who is licensed, registered or otherwise lawfully authorized to distribute, dispense or administer a controlled substance, other drug or device in the course of professional practice or research in this Commonwealth. The term does not include a veterinarian.

A recent Journal of American Medicine report highlighted a cross-sectional inventory study of opioid prescribing by 134 veterinarians, in a Pennsylvania multidisciplinary acute care veterinary teaching hospital, and found a parallel trend of escalating opioid prescriptions and potency from 2007 through 2017. The substantial and increasing volume of opioids prescribed highlights analogous concerns about excessive opioid prescribing in humans.

Recently, Virginia has established new policies for veterinarians on how they can use opioids for acute and chronic conditions, and in the 2018 General Assembly session, state lawmakers expanded their state’s Prescription Monitoring Program to include veterinarians.

My legislation would mirror the Virginia statute. Failure to enter mandatory data in the system could result in penalties from the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Thank you for your consideration and please contact my office if you have any questions regarding this proposed legislation.