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Eau ClaireGovernor Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 364 and Assembly Bill 766 into law today at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire as a part of his Heroin Opioid Prevention and Education (H.O.P.E.) tour, which highlights the impact these bills will have on people in Wisconsin who struggle with opioid abuse and addiction.

“We’re happy to be in Eau Claire today at Mayo Clinic Health System to sign this important legislation into law,” Governor Walker said.  “As we continue to protect Wisconsinites against opioid use and abuse, increasing the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program reporting requirements provides users with more accurate and real-time information, potentially preventing overdose or even death.  Additionally, by putting in place measures to ensure the effectiveness of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, we are potentially saving our citizens from overdose and even death.”

Assembly Bill 364 – changes the initial reporting to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by a pharmacy or practitioner from seven days to 24 hours.  The bill also adds groups to the lists of authorized people who can view a record generated under the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), including law enforcement and registered nurses or substance abuse counselors who are treating a patient from whom the record was generated.  Finally, the bill authorizes supervisors of practitioners, pharmacists, registered nurses, or substance abuse counselors to view relevant records from the PDMP for the purpose of conducting performance evaluations.  Authored by Representative John Nygren (R – Marinette) and Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R – River Falls), the bill passed the Assembly on a voice vote and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote.  It is Act 266.

Assembly Bill 766 – requires the Controlled Substances Board to conduct an annual review of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) to evaluate the program’s outcomes compared with projected outcomes beginning in 2017.  The bill sunsets the program review requirements in 2020.  Authored by Representative John Nygren (R – Marinette) and Senator Alberta Darling (R – River Hills), the bill passed the Assembly with a vote of 98-0 and was concurred by the Senate on a voice vote.  It is Act 267.

In 2013, more Wisconsinites died as a result of drug overdose than from motor vehicle crashes, suicide, breast cancer, colon cancer, firearms, influenza, or HIV, according to a report released in September of 2015 by the Department of Health Services (DHS).  Drug overdose deaths in Wisconsin doubled from 2004 to 2013 and opioid pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, contributed to 45 percent of the 843 drug overdose deaths in 2013, while heroin contributed to about 27 percent.  Governor Walker continues to work with DHS and the legislature to bolster Wisconsin’s drug abuse prevention and treatment efforts, and the bills signed into law today as a part of Governor Walker’s H.O.P.E. tour are an important step to ensure Wisconsinites who face drug addiction receive the help and support they need.

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