Prescription Drug Monitoring Legislation
– The Pennsylvania Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday
reported three bills out of committee, including prescription drug monitoring
legislation, said committee chairwoman Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland/York).
Bill 1180, sponsored by Vance, expands the state’s prescription drug monitoring
program to include all drugs up to and including Schedule V controlled
substances. Currently, the Pennsylvania Attorney General houses a monitoring
program with dispensing data for Schedule II controlled substances. To address
some concerns, the bill was amended to limit data referral to law enforcement
or a licensing board only in instances in which there is a pattern of irregular
data deviating from the clinical standard.
drug overdose mortality rate in the fourteenth highest in the nation,” Vance
said. “This bill will improve patient safety by preventing people from become
addicted to prescription drugs and thus reduce deaths. Almost 80 percent of
those who recently started using heroin said they previously abused
other bills approved Wednesday were Senate Bill 1267, sponsored by Vance, and
House Bill 1259, sponsored by Rep. Frank Ferry (R-Bucks). Senate Bill 1267
reauthorizes the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment (PHC4) Council for
three years. Without this legislation the council, which is an independent
state agency that strives to give consumers, purchasers and providers quality
comparative data for the purpose of making informed decisions, would cease to
exist on June 30. House Bill 1259 regulates indoor tanning facilities. As part
of the legislation, those 16 and younger would be banned from using such
facilities. Minors who are 17 years old would require parental consent.
Wednesday, the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee
reported out of committee Senate Bill 959, sponsored by Vance. The bill would
recognize nurse anesthetists as certified registered nurse anesthetists, CRNAs,
in Pennsylvania law. Currently, nurse anesthetists are the only advanced
practice nursing group out of four lacking this classification. The legislation
would make it easier for CRNAs to transfer from one state to another and gives
them title protection for use of this designation.