Proposed legislation pending to change portions of State Bill 1446


    KOKH

    OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) - Oklahoma's opioid committee gathered around a table at the Capitol on Thursday morning to discuss more ways to address the ongoing opioid crisis in the state.

    The agenda included discussion of legislation and possible action regarding pending legislation that amends or appeals portions of State Bill 1446.

    State Bill 1446, passed in 2016, restricted the amount of medication doctors can prescribe to their patients.

    "The changes we need to make need to be done thoughtfully and based on data, and the people around the table here are really the experts in state," said Attorney General Mike Hunter.

    Chronic pain patients said the current legislation turns their lives into hardship because it restricts them from receiving the proper amount of opioid medication.

    Changes to State Bill 1446 were proposed during the meeting, at which commissioners announced the pending legislation.

    A large portion of proposed legislation would modify 63 0.S. Sec. 2-309.

    "This is a large bill and also repeals every portion of State Bill 1446," said Lori Carter, deputy attorney general.

    Some of the pending legislation includes:

    Removing the language requiring any prescription for acute pain to be for the lowest effective dose.

    Removes the requirement that subsequent prescriptions shall not be issued less than seven days after the initial prescription (i.e., allowing for immediate subsequent prescriptions).

    Removes the requirement that the practitioner determine the prescription is necessary and appropriate to the treatment needs of the patient and documents the rationale for the issuance of the subsequent prescription.

    Removes the requirement that the practitioner determine and document that issuance of the subsequent prescription does not present an undue risk of abuse, addiction or diversion.

    Amends 59 O.S. 509 to remove "prescribing, dispensing or administrating opioid drugs in excess of the maximum dosage authorized under (63 O.S. 2-1091|) from the definition of unprofessional conduct as it relates to physicians.

    "It basically takes out that provision that would have allowed the boards to go to charge a doctor or pursue some type of action for over-prescribing," Carter said.

    Amends 63 O.S. 2-309 (D) to give discretion to medical licensure boards to take disciplinary action when a physician fails to check the PMP. Current law says the failure of a registrant to access and check the PMP shall be grounds for disciplinary action.

    Amends 63 O.S. 1-209| (A) to remove the requirement that any prescription for acute pain shall be for the lowest effective dose of immediate-release opioid drug.

    "This allows the doctor to prescribe any strength," Carter said. "It doesn't keep it to the lowest effective dose."

    To read more on the pending legislation, see the attached photo gallery.

    The committee hopes that adding new language, modifying and removing pieces of the bill will help tackle the unraveling epidemic.

    "We need to be very careful if we're changing the law, but we're open to that, particularly when we're seeing the consequences of it in real terms," Hunter said. "We're seeing individuals whose conditions, which were being addressed, are no longer being addressed, in a way that they can function."

    Hunter said he plans to continue to meet with the opioid commission and patients and their doctors to review and get a better grip on what else needs to be changed.



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