VITALE BILL TO CURB ‘PILL SHOPPING’ AT HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOMS CLEARS SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE

Senator Vitale

Bill Requires Practitioners To Check NJ PMP Prior To Prescribing A Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance In Emergency Departments

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Health Chairman Joseph F. Vitale that would amend current law to require prescribers to check the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program before issuing a prescription for a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance in a hospital emergency department cleared the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today.

“We have a raging opioid epidemic, and we have to make every effort to address the problem, from education to prevention to treatment and recovery,” said Senator Vitale (D-Middlesex). “Unfortunately, hospital emergency rooms have become a source for individuals who are shopping for prescription painkillers and can’t get them any other way. Requiring practitioners to check the Prescription Monitoring Program database every time they prescribe Schedule II CDS will help identify those who are pill shopping, and could create a pathway to introducing treatment options for those who need it.”

Current law requires prescribers or their authorized designees to check a patient’s prescription monitoring information the first time they issue a prescription for a Schedule II CDS to a new patient for acute or chronic pain, and on a quarterly basis thereafter for continuing prescriptions for a Schedule II CDS. The law provides an exception for prescriptions issued to patients in the emergency department of a general hospital when the quantity prescribed does not exceed a five-day supply.

This bill, S-3118, eliminates this exception and mandates a check of prescription monitoring information for any prescription for a Schedule II CDS issued in a hospital emergency department, regardless of quantity.

The bill was approved by the Senate Health Committee with a vote of 9-0, and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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