COLUMBUS—State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) today announced Ohio House’s concurrence of Substitute House Bill 341. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Smith, is part of a package of bills dedicated to curtail  the opiate epidemic in Ohio.

The bill would prohibit the prescribing of a controlled substance that is a schedule II drug or that contains opioids unless patient information is first reviewed under the State Board of Pharmacy’s Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRS). The measure would help prevent the overprescribing of such substances. By requiring physicians and other prescribers to review a patient’s prescription history on the OARRS before writing a prescription for certain drugs, they can ensure that their patients have not already been prescribed the substance by another doctor. This reduces the amount of superfluous prescription medication that may be sold or used illegally.

The bill outlines some exceptions to OARRS review

  • The OARRS report is unavailable

  • The drug has been prescribed to a hospice or terminally ill patient

  • The amount of the drug prescribed does not exceed a period of seven days

  • The drug is prescribed for the treatment of cancer

  • The drug is prescribed for administration in a hospital or residential care setting

  • The drug is prescribed for pain resulting from a surgical procedure

“This bill is a critical step in preventing addiction to these powerful pain medications. It will enable prescribers to have more insight into the patient’s past medical history and will truly enable them to provide the best quality care to these patients,” Rep. Smith said.  “Ohio is now one step closer to becoming drug and addiction free.”

H.B. 341 was amended in Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee to require license renewal applicants to certify, rather than provide evidence, when an applicant has access to the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (OARRs).  Additional amendments permit disciplinary action when a licensee is untruthful about having access to OARRs and also removes the requirement that the Medicaid Director confirm that a Medicaid recipient is enrolled in certain cases.

House Bill 341 will now go to Governor Kasich for his signature.

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