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Pennsylvania boosts drug monitoring, limits physician repackaging

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Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on Monday signed bills into law that expand the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and limit physician dispensing and drug repackaging.

Senate Bill 1180 and House Bill 1846 are expected to control workers compensation costs and ensure better claimant outcomes, Gov. Corbett said in the statement announcing the new laws.

S.B. 1180, which comes in to force next year, will expand the list of drugs monitored under Pennsylvania’s monitoring program to include all controlled substances under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Currently, the program only monitors Schedule II controlled substances, such as oxycodone.

The Attorney General’s office will continue to oversee the portion of the program that’s accessible to law enforcement, but the Pennsylvania Department of Health will oversee the portion accessible to pharmacists and prescribing practitioners.

“Prescription drug monitoring will provide access for health care professionals to enhance a patient’s coordination of care so that we can support individuals who suffer with prescription drug addiction,” Gov. Corbett said in the statement.

H.B. 1846 caps reimbursement of repackaged drugs at 110% of the average wholesale price, restricts physicians from dispensing Schedule II controlled substances, and prohibits physicians from dispensing more than a 30-day supply of other medications.

Gov. Corbett said in the statement that the legislation will save “Pennsylvania employers approximately $13 million annually in the cost of their workers compensation premiums.”

S.B. 1180 will be effective as of June 30, 2015, and H.B. 1846 will be effective 60 days from Monday, a spokesman for the governor’s office said Tuesday.