Committee Votes to Require Doctors to Check Prescription Monitoring Program for New Patients

OKLAHOMA CITY – Under legislation approved by the House Public Safety Committee, physicians would have to use the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Prescription Monitoring Program when prescribing a controlled dangerous substance to a new patient.

            House Bill 2574, by state Rep. Pat Ownbey, would require physicians to check the “real-time” monitoring program to see what prescriptions the patient had received from other doctors. The legislation would also require the physician to check annually for all of his patients.

            “Under this bill, in the initial visit for a new patient, if a doctor is going to prescribe a controlled dangerous substance, he will have to check the prescription monitoring program to ensure the patient is not ‘doctor shopping’ or has a prescription drug abuse problem,” said Ownbey (R-Ardmore). “Basically the online program allows doctors to see exactly what has been prescribed to their patient in the past. It’s an underused resource that could do wonders for some of the prescription abuse problems we see here in Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma uses about 120 million dosage units of hydracodone each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The state ranks No. 1 in prescription drug usage per capita.

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director R. Darrell Weaver said Oklahoma has a severe prescription drug problem and doctors must intervene.

            “It’s a silent cancer. We have seen a 108 percent increase in drug overdose deaths since 2001. What we’ve seen is that 80 percent of those deaths are due to prescription drugs, not illicit drugs,” Weaver said. “Oklahoma needs to do what we can to intervene. These deaths are unnecessary. We believe doctors can get on our online site and help stop this epidemic of drug abuse.”

            House Bill 2574 passed out of the House Public Safety Committee and now proceeds to the House floor for consideration.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.