HARRISBURG – The Senate today concurred in amendments to legislation authored by Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland/York) that expands the state’s prescription drug monitoring program to include Schedule II through V controlled substances.
Currently, the Pennsylvania Attorney General oversees a monitoring program with dispensing data for Schedule II controlled substances. Under Senate Bill 1180, a board will be created within the Department of Health to establish and oversee an electronic data system listing all controlled substances that are prescribed and dispensed within Pennsylvania. An advisory group of up to 12 people, including dispensers, law enforcement, addiction specialists and privacy advocates, will assist the board with its duties. Patients can review their information quarterly at no cost and correct any errors. Data will be referred to the appropriate licensing board only in instances where there is a pattern of irregular data deviating from the clinical standard. The Office of Attorney General will submit a report regarding the electronic data system to the General Assembly within two years of the effective date and then annually thereafter. Unless extended, the law sunsets on June 30, 2022.
“This is a vital piece of the puzzle to preventing addiction to prescription drugs,” Vance said. “Patients will no longer be able to doctor shop, which will then reduce the chance of them turning to heroin when prescription drugs are no longer available. This bill is about patient care and helping people.”
The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature.
Vance’s district includes all of Cumberland County and Carroll, Fairview, Franklin, Monaghan, Warrington and Washington townships and Dillsburg, Franklintown and Wellsville boroughs in York County.
Contact: Tracy Polovick