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2/7/2018 Speaker Mattiello introduces legislation that would allow partial-fill prescription option on opioids
STATE HOUSE — Addressing the opioid epidemic, Speaker of the House Nicholas A. Mattiello (D-Dist. 15, Cranston) has introduced legislation that would give patients the option of only partially filling their prescription for painkillers.

The bill (2018-H 7416) would allow a pharmacist to dispense a partial fill of a Schedule II controlled substance at the request of either the patient or the prescriber.

“The opioid epidemic is one of the biggest tragedies of our time, and finding new ways to tackle it continues to be a challenge,” said Speaker Mattiello. “This legislation will allow and encourage prescribers, patients and pharmacists to work together, and empower patients to limit the number of unused pills that are left in their medicine chests, which is where opioid addiction begins.”

Under the provisions of the legislation, subsequent fills would have to be dispensed at the same pharmacy where the original prescription was partially filled, and the total quantity dispensed could not exceed the total quantity prescribed. After 30 days, the prescription would expire.

“One of the things we’ve heard about the opioid crisis from the Centers for Disease Control is that almost 80 percent of people who are at the highest risk of overdose initially acquired pills that were legally prescribed to someone — either themselves, a friend of a relative,” said Speaker Mattiello. “This is an important step in reducing the number of pills that are out there.”

Under the bill, pharmacists would also be required to record only the actual amounts of the drug dispensed in the state’s prescription-drug-monitoring program maintained by the Department of Health.

The legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), Patricia Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick), Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Majority Whip John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), has been referred to the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare.

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903