Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2013
Sen. Rob Standridge
Senate approves measure to curb prescription drug abuse
The Senate has approved legislation designed to curb
the widespread abuse of prescription drugs in Oklahoma. House Bill
1419 is a bipartisan effort to address fraud and the practice of
“doctor shopping” by strengthening the state’s
prescription monitoring program.
Standridge, Senate author of HB 1419, said the proposal represents
a strong step in the right direction, but that the state must address
more broadly the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in its overall
public health strategy.
Standridge noted the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rank Oklahoma
among the top states for both prescription painkiller sales and
drug overdose death rates. More than 80 percent of drug-related
deaths in Oklahoma are caused by prescription drugs.
“It’s time for the state to do some soul-searching on
this issue,” said Standridge, R-Norman. “It is simply
not acceptable that our state should be a leader in addiction to
prescription painkillers, and that our children should have to grow
up in an environment where powerful pharmaceuticals are so readily
available. This measure represents an important step toward giving
our regulatory bodies the tools they need to effectively monitor
the distribution of drugs. As a state, however, it is time for us
to have a frank discussion about what else we can do to solve this
Standridge credited Rep. Richard Morrissette, House author of HB
1419, for his work on the proposal. The Norman Republican said passage
of the legislation sends the message that partisan politics doesn’t
have to stand in the way of good policy.
“This is desperately needed legislation that addresses an
area of very serious concern for our state as a whole,” Standridge
said. “Mere partisanship shouldn’t stand in the way
of a worthwhile idea. Oklahomans want to see their Legislature get
the job done on the issues that matter most in their lives, regardless
of their political affiliation. By passing this bill, we are sending
the message that we can do just that.”
The measure provides for real-time reporting to physicians by the
Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD). The agency
will be able to send a message flagging patients when they attempt
to fill typically abused prescription drugs repeatedly.
HB 1419 was approved last week by a vote of 44-0, and returns to
the House for further consideration.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Standridge: (405) 521-5535