Taylor Joins House in Passing Two Bills to Fight Opioid Abuse
—Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) joined his colleges in passing two bills to strengthen the fight against opioid drug abuse
“Opioid drug abuse is epidemic in our community,” Taylor said. “We must do more to encourage physicians to distribute alternatives to pain killers that have lethally addictive properties.”
The Report of the Task Force and Advisory Committee on Opioid Prescription Drug Proliferation this year recommended the General Assembly enact laws to encourage the use of drugs with abuse-deterrent properties. House Bill 1698
requires insurance company plans provide access to abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drugs that are designed to be harder to crush, cut, dissolve or inject.
“When people crush a time-release drug like OxyContin they get the full dose of a drug meant to be released over time, a dose that is frequently deadly,” Taylor said. “It is critical that we help patients suffering from chronic pain while minimizing the potential for lethal consequences.”
The bill would apply cost-sharing provisions for these products at the same level as the cost-sharing applied to other brand name and generic drugs covered under the insurance plans’ formularies.
Under House Bill 1699
, a health care practitioner would be prohibited from prescribing more than seven days of an opioid drug product in an emergency department or urgent care center, unless more than a seven-day supply is required to treat a patient’s acute medical condition or is necessary for the treatment of pain associated with a cancer diagnosis or for palliative care.
“Too often a patient becomes addicted to opioids after a trip to the emergency room where a physician unnecessarily prescribes a large quantity of pain killers,” Taylor said. “In many cases this is a dangerous decision.”
Under the bill, if a health care practitioner prescribes more than a seven-day supply, the health care practitioner is required to document the condition triggering prescription of the opioid in the patient's medical record, and must indicate that a non-opioid drug product alternative was not appropriate to treat the medical condition.
Taylor has held several community meetings to help families find the resources to fight drug abuse.
Representative John Taylor
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster