Drug Task Force Prepares Final Report For The Governor

The Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force (OPDATF) held its last meeting, September 21, and approved  final recommendations from its Law Enforcement Work Group as well as ones previously submitted by the Treatment, Regulatory, and Public Health committees. State agency staff are drafting the report for Governor Strickland, and will be posting it on the Task Force web site, October, 1, for public viewing.

An extra meeting of the OPDATF was convened after provider groups -- including the Ohio Osteopathic Association -- requested more time to discuss last minute recommendations submitted by the Law Enforcement Work Group.   Due to objections from the OOA, Anesthesiologist, Dental, Medical, Hospital, and Pharmacist Associations, the task force referred the recommendations back to the Law Enforcement Work Group so a public discussion could be held, September 20th.

During the last meeting, provider groups submitted amendments to the law enforcement section, and  helped develop acceptable language dealing with  (1) quantity limits of opiods an individual can possess - rather than trying to define "standard doses"; (2) expanding reporting requirements -- that already exist for physician and pharmacists -- to all prescribers who reasonably suspect other health care providers are committing prescription drug violation;s and (3), and the required use of standard, tamper proof prescription pads, without requiring a uniform pad ordered through a single source.  

 “The OOA would like to thank Cleanne Cass, DO, of Dayton, who represented the OOA on the task force as well as Aaron Adams, DO, who represented public health," said OOA President Schield A. Wikas, DO.  "They unselfishly gave up a great deal of time to develop strategies to stop Ohio's prescription drug abuse epidemic; we applaud their efforts."

Immediately prior to the OPDATF meeting, association representatives and other stakeholder met with Reps. Nancy Garland (D-Gahanna) and Ray Pryor (D-Chillicothe) to discuss HB 547 (Pain Clinic Licensing). The final report recognizes HB 547 as a possible approach to shut down pill mills by regulating pain clinics and improving the Ohio Automated Prescription Reporting System (OARRS), among other provisions. 

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