Prescription drug monitoring changes approved

Lawmakers gave final approval Feb. 18 to a bill intended to enhance Nebraska’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

LB471, introduced last session by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, will strengthen the program by:
• prohibiting patients from opting out of the system;
• requiring prescription dispensers to report to the system;
• allowing prescribers and dispensers to access the system at no cost;
• requiring all controlled substance prescriptions to be entered into the system; and
• capturing information relating to all payers, including Medicaid.

The provisions will apply to veterinarians beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

In addition, the bill establishes a 10-member Veterinary Prescription Monitoring Program Task Force. The task force will study and develop recommendations regarding which controlled substances veterinarians will report under the system, as well as appropriate reporting procedures.

Membership will include three senators, six licensed veterinarians and a representative of the program. The task force will report its findings and recommendations to the Health and Human Services Committee by Dec. 1, 2016.

LB471 passed on a 46-0 vote.

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