Wuchner Files Bill to Combat Substance Abuse
Representative Addia K. Wuchner, R-Florence (66th District) has filed a bill for the 2012 Legislative Session that if passed would prohibit the unauthorized substitute of an FDA approved opioid based drug that incorporates tamper resistant properties for one that does not. Examples of opioid related drugs include OxyContin, Vicodin, Dilaudid, Opana, and OxyCodine.
Tamper resistant formulations (TRFs) make it much more difficult to crush, melt or otherwise alter medications into a form that is easier to abuse. Studies show that addicts tend to crush or otherwise break down time-released products into a form that can be snorted or injected for a more intense high.
“Families across Kentucky have felt the scourge of addiction,” said Rep. Wuchner. “These products are not going to completely prevent or deter abuse, but they will provide an alternative that will be a benefit to patients and our community.”
According to a story published in the November 19, 2011 edition of the Kentucky Enquirer, the Commonwealth currently ranks 6th in the nation for overdose deaths involving pain relievers, and roughly four of 10 Kentuckians who are of Appalachian heritage report having family or friends who have misused prescription pain meds.
“Prescribing physicians should have the ability to write prescriptions for opioid products incorporating tamper-resistant technologies when, in their medical judgment, such prescriptions are in the best interest of the patient,” added Rep. Wuchner. “Everyone in the medical community has a role to play in combating Kentucky’s prescription drug abuse problem. House Bill 377 simply provides another tool to help in our collective efforts.”
Under Rep. Wuchner’s proposal the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy would compile a list of FDA approved, both branded and generic, opioids that have a tamper resistant technology in place and provide it to pharmacists.
House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown; retired physician and Rep. Bob DeWeese, R-Louisville, and Rep. John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville are co-sponsors of Rep. Wuchner’s bill.
HR 377 can be viewed at this link: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/12rs/HB377.htm.