Thank you to Gov. Baker for supporting and signing the Opioid Prevention bill on Monday. A lot of work went into this legislation to tackle the opiate epidemic affecting our communities and the end result is a bipartisan effort we can all be proud of that combines the best proposals from the House, Senate, and Governor. Here are some of the major elements of the new law:
• First-time opiate prescriptions are limited to seven days for adults and all opiate prescriptions for children to seven days, with exceptions allowed for chronic pain management, cancer & palliative care;
• Requires medical professionals to conduct an evaluation of individuals who present in an emergency department with an apparent opiate overdose with 24 hours;
• Allows patients the choice to partially fill opiate prescriptions so they won't be sent home for drugs they may not need or want;
• Requires drug companies to share the costs of collecting and disposing of unused schedule II pharmaceuticals by participating in a drug stewardship program or alternative steward plan;
• Allows patients to sign a non-opiate directive so they won't be offered prescription opiates by their medical providers;
• Mandates that medical providers check the Prescription Monitoring Program each time they prescribe any opiate, to avoid "doctor-shopping"
• Requires schools to develop substance abuse prevention policies and to conduct verbal substance abuse screening in two grade levels in schools, subject to appropriation and parental approval.
-Updates the training guidelines for all practitioners who prescribe controlled substances