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Legislation aimed at strengthening oversight of opioid prescriptions and reducing the risk of drug abuse has been sent to the governor for consideration, according to State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33).

Senate Bill 432 gives Medicaid Managed Care Organizations access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Mastriano said the provision provides another critical layer of oversight to prescription opioids.

The program was created in 2014 to provide greater monitoring over prescription drugs and potential abuse. It is designed to help healthcare providers identify patients who may need treatment, or individuals who are illegally diverting prescriptions.

Mastriano said the new legislation will save lives by identifying potential prescription drug abuse. It will also save taxpayer dollars by identifying fraud and reducing the need for drug treatment and rehabilitation among Medicaid recipients, he said.

Currently, only prescription drug prescribers, dispensers and the Attorney General and state agencies have access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Senate Bill 432 builds on recent efforts to combat the deadly heroin and opioid epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 4,200 Pennsylvanians in 2018.

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In 2019, the Senate passed a package of bills to combat the state’s heroin and opioid epidemic by improving prescription drug monitoring, limiting opioid prescriptions, targeting drug dealers and taking other steps to limit the damage inflicted by the addiction crisis in Pennsylvania communities.

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