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Diegnan Bill Looking to Set up Safety Procedures for Dangerous Medications Clears Committee

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr., which would require physicians to obtain informed consent from parents or guardians of minors for certain medications with “black box warnings,” cleared the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.

“Our country is in the midst of a drug epidemic, and New Jersey is not immune to its devastation,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “We need to have safety procedures set up for drugs that carry serious risks so our young people cannot easily obtain medication without parental consent. We must minimize the risk to our children in any way possible.”

The bill, S-1642, would require physicians, advanced practice nurses, and other authorized prescribers to obtain informed written consent from parents or legal guardians of minors prior to prescribing them psychotropic medications that are accompanied by a “black box warning.”

The bill would specify that in cases where written consent cannot be obtained, the prescriber must make a notation in the patient’s file indicating the date and circumstances of the informed consent.  Any prescriber who would violate the provisions of the bill would be subject to disciplinary action by the applicable State professional licensing board.

The “black box warning” is placed on a drug label if medical studies indicate that the drug carries a significant risk of serious or life-threatening adverse effects.  A “black box warning” is the strongest warning that the FDA requires.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 9-0.