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Here's a press release sent from the state Senate about the bill's passage:
Senate Takes Action to Address Prescription Drug Abuse
(Columbus) – The Ohio Senate took bipartisan action today to address the scourge of prescription drug abuse, the fastest-growing drug problem in the nation and now the leading cause of accidental injury death among Ohioans.
Senators voted 30-0 to approve House Bill 93, which creates five new policy initiatives:
* Requires a performance analysis of the Ohio Automated Rx Review Ssytem
* Limits the ability of prescribers to personally furnish controlled substances
* Reforms certain Medicaid provisions to improve consumer education and allow for better care coordination
* Improves licensing and law enforcement issues related to pain-management clinics
* Develops a statewide prescription drug "take-back" program
"This is a crisis that's reaching epidemic proportions across Ohio, and it crosses every geographic, social and economic boundary," said State Senator Jimmy Stewart (R-Albany), who sponsored the Senate companion bill to House Bill 93. "Fatal overdoses more than quadrupled in the last decade, and we're losing an average of four Ohioans every day to this form of drug abuse. I'm encouraged by the legislative action we've taken so far, but this is only the beginning of the battle to get a crisis that's impacting thousands of Ohioans under control."
According to national statistics, prescription drug addiction now fatally claims more victims than crack cocaine in the 1980s and heroin in the 1970s combined.
An Ohio task force found that seven of the 10 counties with the highest death rates related to prescription drug abuse are located in Southern Ohio. The United States Government Accountability Office released a report in 2009 that found Medicaid abuse is a major contributor to the problem, citing fraudulent, improper or abusive actions related to the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances. The report, which included case studies in Ohio, found that 70 percent of people abusing pain killers obtained them from friends and relatives. House Bill 93 is designed to provide greater accountability for medical professionals, as well as give local authorities more tools in uncovering and prosecuting criminal activity.
The bill as amended now moves back to the Ohio House of Representatives for concurrence.