(NASHVILLE) — A measure sponsored by State Representative Ron Gant (R-Rossville) designed to address Tennessee’s opioid crisis has passed in the House chamber.
House Bill 1993 requires all prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances in Tennessee to be issued electronically by July of 2020. The measure includes exceptions for doctors in rural communities who may encounter technological barriers in the treatment of their patients.
Schedule II controlled substances have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological dependence. They include substances such as methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine.
Recent studies suggest that Tennessee pharmacists filled over 500,000 fraudulent prescriptions last year alone. House Bill 1993 addresses this issue and is an additional tool in fighting a public health crisis that has impacted cities and towns across Tennessee.
In 2016 alone, there were over 1,600 opioid-related overdose deaths, one of the highest death rates in the nation, and statistics show these numbers are only increasing. Every day in Tennessee, at least three people die from opioid-related overdoses — more than the daily number of traffic fatalities.
“It is clear that we have reached a defining moment in determining future health outcomes for the citizens of our state,” said Representative Gant. “This current opioid epidemic has no boundaries, and many of our residents are all too familiar with its destructive outcomes. House Bill 1993 is a step forward in limiting the number of prescription opioids available in our communities, and I believe it will be one of many solutions that will enable Tennesseans to finally end the cycle of addiction.”
For more information about House Bill 1993, please click here.
Ron Gant serves as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. He is also a member of the House Health Committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, as well as the House Insurance & Banking Sub and Full Committees. Gant lives in Rossville and represents House District 94, which includes Fayette, McNairy, and part of Hardeman County. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (615) 741-6890.