The Montana Medical Association is supporting three bills that would help address prescription drug abuse and diversion in Montana. The MMA worked with the Children, Families, Health & Human Services Interim Committee to come up with the three bills. The three pieces of legislation – Senate Bill 7, Senate Bill 8 and Senate Bill 9 – all are being sponsored by Senator Roger Webb of Billings.
Below are overviews of each bill and where they currently stand in the legislative process.
Senate Bill 7 (Revise and extend the prescription drug registry fee) SB 7 by Senator Roger Webb of Billings would extend the sunset for the Prescription Drug Registry and raise the fee from $15 to $30. William Gallea, M.D., noted in testimony the MMA would like to see the increased fee help pay for future enhancements, which include delegating access to support staff, the ability to share information with other states, having data available in real time and having the ability to provide feedback to prescribers. Status: Passed Senate and heard in House Human Services Committee on Jan. 23, 2015. MMA POSITION – SUPPORT
Senate Bill 8 (Allow electronic prescribing of controlled substances prescriptions) SB 8 by Senator Webb would allow for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances. Montana is the last state to adopt such a law. It will assist in making additional gains in curbing prescription drug abuse and diversion, and reducing deaths due to prescription drug abuse. Status: Passed Senate and heard in House Human Services Committee on Jan. 26, 2015. MMA POSITION – SUPPORT
Senate Bill 9 (Allow sharing of certain health care information with law enforcement) SB 9 by Senator Webb clarifies and allows for health care providers to be able to share certain information with law enforcement, and provides immunity to providers. This bill is viewed as a tool to address doctor shopping and in making additional gains in curbing prescription drug abuse and diversion, and reducing deaths due to prescription drug abuse. Status: Failed third reading on Senate Floor on Feb. 23, 2015. MMA POSITION – SUPPORT