Senator Bill Cassidy Introduces Bill To Solve Opioids Crisis

Senate HELP committee member Bill Cassidy, MD, R-Louisiana, introduced a bill on Monday that would incentivize states that share prescription drug monitoring program data with law enforcement and prescriber licensing boards.

The Protection from Overprescribing Act would also require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services consider a state’s compliance with the rule when awarding grants for PDMPs (prescription drug monitoring program).

The idea, Cassidy said, is to ensure the authorities have the necessary information to identify bad actors, reduce the number of excessive prescriptions and “any prescribers that repeatedly fall outside of expected norms or standard practices for the prescriber’s field.”

“In Louisiana, there is about one opioid prescription for every person,” Cassidy said in a statement. “I and other physicians took an oath to first, do no harm. Some doctors are selling these prescriptions for profit. This is doing harm and it must be stopped.”

The bill joins a growing list of proposed federal and state legislation aimed at better utilizing PDMPs to combat the opioid epidemic. MichiganFlorida and Virginia have all introduced similar legislation within the last six months. And Indiana began integrating PDMP data into the EHR to fight the crisis, in August.

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