Legislature sends governor proposal to curb opioid abuse, increase prescription oversight

HARRISBURG – The Senate of Pennsylvania gave final approval to a bill sponsored by Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York) today that would improve oversight of prescriptions to reduce the risk of opioid abuse.

Under the legislation, Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) would have access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). The PDMP was created in 2014 in an effort to provide greater monitoring over prescription drugs and potential abuse.

Allowing the MCOs to query the PDMP will provide greater collaboration and data when it comes to prescription drug abuse and misuse.

“By expanding access, we can help those who are working in our health care system and in our Medicaid program to better collaborate so we can start to find ways to end opioid abuse all across Pennsylvania,” Phillips-Hill said. “Increasing oversight will only improve outcomes and ensure narcotics do not fall into the wrong hands.”

Phillips-Hill’s proposal includes a provision that requires an MCO to notify the Attorney General and the Department of Human Services if it is believed that a controlled substance was prescribed or dispensed fraudulently.

Only prescription drug prescribers, dispensers and the Attorney General and state agencies currently have access to the system.

The bill would allow for county and municipal health departments to access data from the PDMP for education and prevention purposes, and prohibits county and local governments from creating their own PDMP.

Senate Bill 432 was approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and was sent to the governor to be signed into law.

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