For Immediate Release
February 13, 2017
Majority Director of Communications
Utah House of Representatives
Only Fill What is Needed
Partial Filling of a Controlled Substance Legislation
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah, like many states, is facing an opiate epidemic that has led to hundreds of deaths due to narcotic overdoses. Seventy percent of those who misuse narcotics report obtaining the drugs from family, friends or off the street. The practice of illegally obtaining narcotics is commonly referred to as diversion.
Rep. Stewart Barlow’s, District 17, bill, H.B. 146 Partial Filling of a Schedule II Controlled Substance Prescription, would help reduce diversion by allowing a partial prescription to be filled instead of the full amount by the request of the prescriber or patient. A partial fill is considered anything less than the initially prescribed quantity of the controlled substance. Subsequent fillings of the original prescription must occur at the pharmacy that originally dispensed the partial fill.
The amount allocated cannot exceed the total quantity prescribed. The cost shall not exceed the original cost of the full prescription if a person chooses partial fills and uses the entire amount.
“Many patients do not require medication for the full expected duration of the pain following an injury or medical procedure,” said Rep. Barlow. “As a result, the bottle of pain medication will end up in a medicine cabinet or improperly disposed of.”
Instead of depending upon various efforts to safely dispose of unused medication, H.B. 146 will empower patients and prescribers with the ability to request a partial fill of a Scheduled II controlled pain medication, including Norco, Lortab, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, Percocet, Morphine and Oxycodone.
“This bill defines and codifies partial prescription fills into state law and complies with recent changes in the federal law,” said Rep. Barlow. “I am confident that this bill and the new strategy it presents will provide a significant tool to help in the fight against opioid overdoses and deaths.”