Mass. Bill Would Mandate Docs To Check Database Before Prescribing Pain Meds
The legislation is expected to come up for a vote in the Massachusetts Senate Thursday. In Florida, the legislature killed a bill to take away prescription rights from doctors awaiting trial on pill-trafficking charges.
Boston Globe: Bill Would Require Screening On Prescription Pain Relievers
Despite a surge in deadly addictions to prescription painkillers in Massachusetts, few physicians have tapped into an online prescription database created in 2010 to prevent "doctor shopping" by patients searching for the powerful drugs. The Senate is scheduled to vote on a bill tomorrow that would require doctors, in most cases, to first check the database before prescribing the pain relievers, including oxycodone and morphine (Conaboy and Bierman, 2/1).
Associated Press/WBUR: Mass. Senate To Offer Prescription Monitoring Bill
Massachusetts Senate leaders are hoping to toughen a state law that calls for monitoring of dangerous prescription drugs. A bill outlined Tuesday would require anyone who prescribes controlled substances to register with the state's prescription monitoring program. Participation is voluntary under a 2010 state law, and officials said only about 1,700 out of 40,000 prescribers in Massachusetts have registered (1/31).
Health News Florida: Surg. General's Drug Bill Dies
When doctors are charged with pill-trafficking, Florida lets them make bail and go right back to prescribing while awaiting trial – even if it takes years. An effort to prevent that ended Tuesday. Surgeon General Frank Farmer sought authority to restrict arrested doctors' right to prescribe narcotics while their trials were pending. But the Florida Medical Association, the Florida Dental Association, and others argued that imposing restrictions would violate the accused person's right to "due process of law” (Gentry, 2/1).
Meanwhile, in Oregon, another issue is looming for the legislature.
Lund Report: Oregon Nurses Association Attempts To Change Oregon's Vaccination Law
The Oregon Nurses Association (ONA) believes that all nurses and healthcare workers should get an influenza vaccination, but not as a condition of employment. Currently Oregon law (ORS 433.407) says that facilities that employ healthcare workers must offer vaccines, but cannot require people to get vaccinated as a condition of employment. The ONA supports legislation, introduced by the Senate Healthcare Committee (Senate Bill 1503) that would require employers to educate their employees about vaccines, give them the option to decline, and protect their decision in a private health record (Scharer, 2/1).