Bill to stop ‘doctor shopping’ heads to governor’s desk

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) A bill that would require doctors and pharmacists to check Indiana’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid or benzodiazepine has passed through the Statehouse.

The legislation by State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) aims to eliminate the ability for patients to receive prescriptions from multiple doctors by forcing Indiana doctors to utilize a statewide, online platform called INSPECT to review patients’ controlled-substance prescription history. Smaltz called the practice “doctor shopping.”

“Drug abuse permeates our society nearly everywhere, and this could help stop addiction before it starts,” Smaltz said. “Our job as lawmakers is to identify how to push back and close potential loopholes. Shutting down drug users’ ability to illegally obtain multiple prescriptions, or interdict their supply, is one more area we can fight this opioid crisis.

“Much like legislating the tracking of pseudoephedrine, I’m hopeful this law will produce a similar effect. Since the passing of Senate Enrolled Act 80 in March 2016, methamphetamine lab seizures decreased dramatically.”

Smaltz said lawmakers this session proposed a three-pronged attack plan of treatment, interdiction and punishment to stem the tide of this growing crisis.

Senate Engrossed Act 221 now moves to the desk of Gov. Eric Holcomb. He has said he looks forward to signing the bill into law.

“Increasing the use of the state’s INSPECT database gives health care professionals another tool to ensure quality care and fight the growing opioid epidemic,” Holcomb said.