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Montana lawmakers debate new measure to fight opiod abuse

Posted at 8:12 AM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 10:12:37-05

HELENA – A bill that would tighten the regulations on prescribing opioid painkillers in Montana won unanimous approval late Thursday by a Montana House committee.

The measure states first-time opioid prescriptions can be written for only a seven-day supply and also says any prescriber of these pain-killing drugs must first review the patient’s records in the state prescription-drug registry.

House Bill 86 is one of several measures developed by Attorney General Tim Fox, as part of his effort to combat drug abuse in Montana.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Vince Ricci (R-Laurel) said Thursday that part of the measure is aimed at stopping prescription-drug addition before it starts.

“The opioid-naive patients, or the patients who are getting this drug for the first time – maybe this will help reduce addiction that way,” Rep. Ricci said. “So with that, I would just ask a do-pass on this bill.”

The bill’s next vote will be on the House floor.