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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

 4:08 PM 

Opioid prescription bill gets Assembly's OK

The Assembly concurred on SB 74, the companion bill to AB 96, which would let qualified optometrists prescribe controlled substances containing opioids.

Optometrists now can prescribe only schedule III, IV and V controlled substances, and they can do so only if they qualify under Department of Safety and Professional Services rules. The bill retains the DSPS qualification but expands the types of substances that can be prescribed.

AB 96 passed the Assembly’s Health Committee on an 8-3 vote.

Opponents in committee argued the bill reverses the actions of the Federal Drug Administration, which in August rescheduled opioids from a schedule III to a schedule II, meaning under optometrists no longer could prescribe those substances. The bill, opponents have said, makes it easier to abuse the drugs.

But bill backers have said optometrists had been able to prescribe the substances for about 25 years prior to the FDA change.


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