Turzai Says Opioid Abuse Prevention Bills Will Save Lives
11/2/2016
HARRISBURG – Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) said a package of bills signed by the governor today will save lives by fighting opioid abuse in Pennsylvania.

“These important laws -- approved nearly unanimously in the state House and Senate -- provide real tools to fight opioid abuse in our Commonwealth,” said Turzai.  “This legislative package shows strong bipartisan agreement on both the depth of this dangerous crisis and the urgency to act, because one death from opioid abuse is one too many.”

Turzai noted that Pennsylvania suffered more than 3,000 opioid-related deaths last year alone. And according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, that represented an increase of 23 percent over the previous year.

The following bills are now law:

•    Act 122, formerly House Bill 1699, will prohibit a health care practitioner from prescribing more than seven days of an opioid product to a patient in an emergency department or urgent care center, or who is in observation status in a hospital. The measure also will require caretakers to refer patients who show signs of addiction to treatment.
•    Act 123, formerly House Bill 1737, will allow for the proper disposal of unused prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
•    Act 124, formerly Senate Bill 1202, will require medical professionals to receive continuing education in pain management, identification of addiction and the use of opioids as effective treatment. The law also will require them to check the newly created prescription drug monitoring database each time a patient is dispensed an opioid or controlled substance and to update the database within 24 hours when issuing an opioid prescription.
•    Act 126, formerly Senate Bill 1367, will limit opioid prescriptions given to minors to a seven-day period, unless there is a medical emergency that puts the child’s health or safety at risk.
•    Act 125, formerly Senate Bill 1368, will call for a medical training facility to implement key opioid-related curriculum.

Joined by Gov. Tom Wolf, the Speaker and nearly the entire House of Representatives stood together in the Capitol Rotunda calling for a Special Session on Opioid Abuse on June 23. This led to Wolf’s Sept. 29 address to a joint session of the General Assembly, and ultimately the passage of this legislative package.

Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House

28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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