Focus on Opioids: A Snapshot of Legislation in the Spotlight

Repost from the AVMA State News Bulletin

In 2017, at least 10 states proposed modifying their prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) and five successfully enacted new PDMP laws. We’ve also seen 78 opioid-related bills introduced and seven regulations this session. Twenty-six bills have become law and two regulations have been finalized.

As the opioid epidemic continues, PDMPs, prescription limitations and continuing education requirements related to opioids have become more commonplace. But policymakers remain active in trying to find ways to address the misuse and diversion of these products.

A new law in Arizona now requires veterinarians to report, within 48 hours, clients they suspect are trying to obtain controlled substances with an intent other than to treat the animal patient. Legislation in Minnesota would have required the person buying the controlled substance to present a valid photo identification but allowed for the veterinarian to forgo this requirement if they knew the person. A bill in Connecticut would have stipulated when veterinarians could prescribe and dispense controlled substances to themselves and members of their immediate family and extended family. And one bill in California would require a prescription to include a description of the diagnosis, the condition for which the prescription was issued and directions for use, all to be provided to the state’s Department of Justice. Another would require reporting details such as why additional prescriptions were needed and which other medications were considered.

States are also establishing drug takeback programs for the safe and secure collection and disposal of unwanted medications. A law was enacted in Washington state this spring while California and New York both considered such provisions. There is not currently a push for veterinarians to administer drug takeback programs, but veterinarians should be familiar with ways clients can appropriately dispose of controlled substances.

Resources you can use:

AVMA Disposal of Unwanted Medications

FDA Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know

Just Three Birthing Pavilion Volunteer Spots Left

Just three volunteer spots are left for us to completely cover every shift at the Nebraska State Fair Birthing Pavilion. Please consider volunteering for this fun and rewarding activity. You even get to attend the State Fair free of charge. NVMA volunteer spots are open to veterinarians, technicians and veterinary students.

Click here to sign up

The dates run from Friday, August 24 to Monday, September 3. There are three shifts per day that run 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., 1 p.m.– 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. A scrub top will be provided for you. The state fair will provide entry tickets for you and your family.

Please contact Dr. Missy Lemons at 308-382-6330 or Crystal Lewandowski at 308-382-6330 if you have any additional questions. 

Thank you in advance for your continued support of this public awareness event.