Proposed Bill to Limit Prescription Length

Proposed Bill to Limit Prescription Length

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) - CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)- On the first day of the 2018 Legislative session, lawmakers are wasting no time introducing a slew of new bills. Several of them dealing with the drug epidemic, and fighting back against opioid abuse.

Jamie Bennett has been with Fruth Pharmacy for about three years, and in the past few months- she's seen more doctors prescribing less opioids.

"It's rare that an accute condition would require strong pain medication, like opioids for more than 7 days. So if that is the case, if there is still an issue after 7 days, it's probably best that the patient follow-up with their physican anyways," Bennett explained.

Bennett, the Clinical Services Leader at the Nitro Fruth Pharmacy, said a proposed bill to officialy limit opioid scripts to 7 days or less, is soemthing she can get behind. The law would mean less pills on teh street to be stolen, sold or abused.

"I think the biggest potential risk is it falling into the hands of someone else that shouldn't have it. And also the potential of that person to continue to using it after the don't really need to- that's where we see addiction start to happen," Bennett added.

Lawmakers said they understand the potential burden of having to go to the doctor or pharmacy more frequently- but they believe saving just one life, makes it worth it.

"To live with the difficulties in terms of if this takes up a little bit of time and paperwork- so be it because lives are at stake," State Senator Stephen Baldwin told 13 News.

Right now physicians can issue a 30-day script, but many are already cutting back, and only prescribing the minimum amount needed. 

But this bill would would ensure all docs follow suit to keep extra pills out of medicine cabinets.

"Our state has been absolutely flooded with millions of pills, and this is a way to curb that. Other states have done that, it's been effective, and I think we ought to try it as well," Sen. Baldwin added.

This bill and several others are still in the early stages in the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee.

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