News and Tribune

March 18, 2014

Indiana’s top attorney in Jeffersonville to trumpet prescription drug bill

Zoeller praises Grooms, Davisson for work on prescription bills


JEFFERSONVILLE — State Rep. Steve Davisson and State Sen. Ron Grooms are both pharmacists by trade, so it should come as no surprise that they had a hand in legislation passed during the most recent legislative session intended to deter prescription drug abuse.

Davisson, R-Salem, and Grooms, R-Jeffersonville, were joined by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to discuss new legislation that takes aim at the state’s drug problems at a press conference Tuesday held at the Clark County Government Building.

“The work of the legislators is not often fully appreciated by the people of their home districts, so I like to go back to their home, and in this case, my home, to give a special thanks to the leadership that you have here in Southern Indiana,” Zoeller said.

Grooms and Davisson discussed HB 1218 and HB 1360, both of which address drug dependency and addiction.

HB 1218 — which was authored by Davisson and sponsored by Grooms in the senate — requires pharmacists to provide dispensing information on certain opioid drugs to the Indiana Scheduled Prescription Electronic Collection and Tracking Program, or INSPECT, which is a database that tracks the dispensing of certain addictive controlled substances. The information would need to be reported within three days starting July 1, 2015, and within 24 hours starting Jan. 1, 2016.

Additionally, the bill limits the amount of certain addictive prescription drugs that can be prescribed to a seven-day supply. Previous rules allowed for 14 days worth of a drug to be dispensed.

“We took important steps this session to continue the fight against prescription drug abuse,” Grooms said. “Providing greater oversight to make sure dangerous opioids aren’t being overprescribed or fueling addictions will be critical to reduce the high rates of overdose and death in Indiana.”

State Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, chaired the House Public Health Committee that heard the bill. Clere wasn’t at Tuesday’s press conference, but Zoeller singled him and Rep. Jud McMillan, R-Brookville, out for praise for helping to get the bills passed.

Zoeller noted that many of the bills that target prescription abuse, public safety and consumer protection efforts were passed either unanimously or with broad bipartisan support.

“This is one that really highlights the very best, not only of your local leaders here, but of the legislative branch as a whole,” he said.

Grooms, Davisson and Zoeller also touted HB 1360, which provides up to five years of student loan forgiveness grants to psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals to address the state’s shortage of those specialists. The bill was co-authored by Clere.