Pill Mill Bill Passes Senate
The Senate passed the Pill Mill Bill on Tuesday, May 17 (Am. Sub. H. B. 93). The legislation, directed at the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, includes limitations on prescriber’s abilities to distribute drugs, enhancements to the prescription drug monitoring system (OARRS), and improvements to drug “take back” programs. The bill passed unanimously, and the Senate also voted to add on an emergency clause to make the bill immediately effective. Governor Kasich is expected to sign the bill by the end of the week. The amended bill can be read here. One provision of HB 93 requires the medical board to adopt rules that establish standards and procedures to be followed by a physician regarding the review of patient information available through the OARRS database. The Ohio State Medical Board has already drafted rules to implement the OARRS review sections of HB 93. Ohio ACEP has reviewed the draft proposed rules and has expressed concern that the proposal could be unduly burdensome in clinical situations unlikely to involve prescription drug abuse, and that this may result in unnecessary time and effort spent by emergency physicians and primary care providers who treat acute clinical conditions at the potential harm of reducing the time spent with other acute patients. Ohio ACEP will continue to monitor the implementation of HB 93 and the rulemaking process. Ohio’s emergency physicians are already among the most frequent users of the OARRS database.