Rx drug bills sent to Oklahoma governor

A bill that would prohibit a written or oral prescription containing hydrocodone from being refilled easily passes the Oklahoma House.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Modified: May 16, 2013 at 10:46 pm •  Published: May 17, 2013

The House voted 77-8 to pass HB 1782. It also is on its way to the governor.

Gov. Mary Fallin earlier signed HB 1781, which gives the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services Department and the Health Department access to central prescription drug repository information gathered and kept by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control. The two agencies may use the information for statistical, research, substance abuse prevention and educational purposes as long as the names of the people are not disclosed publicly.

About 81 percent of drug-related deaths in Oklahoma are caused by prescription drugs. One survey shows that nearly 8 percent of Oklahomans are abusing prescription painkillers, which is twice the national average, the governor said.

In 2010, hydrocodone was a factor in 153 overdose deaths in Oklahoma, followed by oxycodone at 144 deaths, according to OBN statistics.

It means that there's just going to be more interaction before somebody can just continually go and get refills without necessarily seeing a doctor. They at least have to check in to keep getting that prescription.”

Chuck Lester,
Representative of Oklahoma State University's prevention programs and a member of a state group looking at prescription overdose

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