MACo: Bolster Fight Against Statewide Opioid Epidemic

MACo submitted written testimony in support of SB 382, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program – Revisions, to the Senate Finance Committee on February 24, 2016.

SB 382 seeks to implement one of the recommendations generated by the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force by requiring prescribers and dispensers to register with and use the PDMP before prescribing or dispensing controlled dangerous substances with potential for abuse.

Under current law, health practitioners are encouraged but not required to query the program regarding a patient’s history before prescribing a monitored medication. The changes would bring Maryland in line with 33 other states that require either mandatory registration or mandatory use of the PDMP.

From the MACo testimony,

The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Supports HB 456. Opioid-related deaths and usage continue to rise in epidemic proportions. Maryland’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) helps to identify and prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion that can lead to overdose or crimes. The program should be strengthened as recommended in the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force final report.

The changes made to the PDMP will help to bolster the State’s efforts to identify and deter drug abuse and diversion while supporting access to legitimate medical uses of medication with high potential for abuse.

As part of its 2016 legislative initiatives, MACo advocates for comprehensive legislation and budget initiatives to address the growing opioid problem confronting each county and Maryland citizens.

An identical cross-filed bill, HB 456, was heard on February 18 in the House.

For more on 2016 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.