In her State of the State Address this year, Governor Fallin spoke of the need to reduce Oklahoma’s prescription drug abuse problem.
In a press release, the governor cited Oklahoma State Department of Health statistics that include Oklahoma having the sixth highest unintentional drug overdose death rate in the United States for 2013.
Oklahoma also has more deaths attributed to hydrocodone or oxycodone than alcohol and illegal drugs combined.
To counteract this, Fallin wants to prevent “doctor shopping,” or the practice of going to several doctors to get more prescriptions.
The new law, House Bill 1948, requires physicians to check with an online tool called the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP).
PMP hosts information about patients’ prescriptions and provides access to doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement.
Under HB 1948, physicians will have to check with PMP the first time they prescribe opiates, synthetic opiates, semisynthetic opiates, benzodiazepine or carisoprodol to a patient.
Physicians will also have to check with the PMP every 180 days the prescription continues.
The bill was introduced by Representative Doug Cox (R) in the House and Senator AJ Griffin (R) in the Senate.
Representative Cox, a physician, has wanted to reintroduce this sort of measure since a similar bill failed last year.
The bill passed 64–30 in the House and 35–10 in the Senate.
While the bill received bipartisan support, all but one of the nay votes in the House and all of nay votes in the Senate were from Republicans.