La. lawmakers add hurdles to prevent ‘doctor shopping’ for opioid drugs

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Hoping to stop people from “doctor shopping” for highly addictive painkillers, Louisiana lawmakers have ordered physicians to consult a statewide prescription monitoring program before prescribing opioid drugs.

The Senate on Friday unanimously approved minor changes the House had made to Sen. Fred Mills’ bill and sent the legislation to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk. Edwards has publicly supported the measure, which he hopes will help fight the country’s opioid epidemic.

The monitoring program already exists, but doctors had not previously been required to use it. Under the bill, physicians still will not have to access the system if they are writing a prescription for seven days or less, or if the patient is in the hospital.

Louisiana has the nation’s sixth-highest opioid prescription rate.

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Senate Bill 55: http://www.legis.la.gov

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