Pa. House passes 2 bills to fight opioid abuse

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The state House of Representatives has passed two bills aimed at reducing abuse of powerful prescription painkillers.

House Bill 1698 requires health insurance plans to cover opioids with abuse deterrents that make the pills harder to crush or inject.

Crushing or injecting a time-release drug like OxyContin delivers a full dose that is often deadly.

The second measure, House Bill 1699, prohibits doctors from prescribing more than seven days of opioids in an emergency department or urgent care center unless more than a seven-day supply is required.

Doctors would have to document the condition triggering the prescription and indicate why a non-opioid drug was inappropriate.

Both proposals are awaiting consideration in the Senate.

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