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Lawmakers Team With Professionals & Families to Combat Rx Drug Abuse

Columbus – House Republican members Danny Bubp (R-West Union) and David Burke (R-Marysville) today unveiled a proposal to combat prescription drug abuse while utilizing existing technology to save lives and thwart ongoing criminal activity, commonly called “pill mills” or the “prescription drug pipeline.”

“Since coming to the legislature in 2009, I have sought solutions to the issues of drug abuse, prescription drug deaths and related crime,” said Rep. Burke. “My knowledge as both a pharmacist and a legislator has given me the insight to tackle this growing problem. This legislation will help save the taxpayers’ money, lower costs on insurers, and save the lives of many Ohioans.”

When enacted, the legislation would give health care providers a new tool through the enhancement of the current OARRS system, empower state boards in the fight against prescription drug abuse, and constrain doctor and pharmacy shopping within Ohio’s Medicaid system.

“My area of Ohio has been hit particularly hard by prescription drug deaths and ‘pill mills’,” said Rep. Bubp. “Once this legislation is adopted, law enforcement and state boards will more efficiently identify suspect prescribers, pharmacies and patients without over-regulating care services or encumbering care to Ohio’s vulnerable citizens.”

“We have to stop this fatal epidemic before it takes more lives,” said Jo Anna Krohn, founder of Surviving Our Losses And Continuing Everyday (SOLACE), an organization that offers emotional support to the community and advocates for legislation to address prescription drug abuse. “I started SOLACE in memory of my son, who fell victim to this growing problem two years ago. We need to prevent similar tragedies from hurting other families in our community.”

Specifically, this legislation will actively prevent prescriptions from being obtained through deception by making the OARRS system more responsive. This step would empower pharmacists and physicians to make professional judgments in real time prior to writing and filling prescriptions.