3 proposals to address the opioid crisis generate attention
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 09.28.16
Photo by Ben Allen/WITF
Senator Gene Yaw of Lycoming County stands with other Republican members after Governor Wolf's joint address to the Senate and House.
(Harrisburg) -- On Tuesday, Governor Wolf addressed a joint session of the House and Senate to talk about the opioid crisis.
But his speech is just the start.
Three proposals seem to be generating the most controversy.
One bill would require all prescribers to check a new database every time they write a prescription for opioids.
Current law only requires a check the first time a prescriber writes a script for a controlled substance.
Under another bill, emergency room patients couldn't be discharged with more than a 7 day supply of opioids.
Senator Gene Yaw has led on the opioid issue, and says lawmakers have been talking with groups to make sure the bills make sense.
He says he thinks there's enough support to get them passed in the Senate.
"The one bill suggests 7 and somebody else suggested 3. 5 might be a good compromise."
Another bill would require insurance companies that cover opioids to also provide coverage for tamper-resistant drugs that are designed to be safer for patients. Insurance companies are concerned about the proposal.
"I don't mean to be trite about this, but we're all going to have to change the way we operate, and it may take a little bit more time on somebody's part, it may take more money. But we're all going to be affected by this, and we all have bear a part of the pain, frankly," says Yaw.
Nearly 3,400 people died of overdoses in 2015 in Pennsylvania.
Published in Healthcare Transformation