Davisson: New laws addressing drug abuse, costly prescriptions

Posted by: Abigail Campbell  | Friday, July 13, 2018

July 1 marked the effective date of a number of new laws helping Hoosiers. I supported a variety of measures addressing issues facing our community, ranging from school funding to newborn screenings. Two new laws I focused on this year take steps to combat the state’s opioid epidemic and ensure consumers are given the most cost-effective options available for their prescription medications.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Hoosiers have the 17th-highest rate of overdose deaths in the country. A new law I worked on requires county coroners to further investigate suspected overdose deaths. If a coroner reasonably suspects the cause of death is associated with a controlled substance, they are required to gather information from Indiana’s prescription monitoring program, or INSPECT, and conduct blood tests. The specific cause of death findings must then be forwarded to the state health department so that informed steps can be taken to combat the statewide drug epidemic.

Another new law ensures consumers are informed of all their medication options. As a pharmacist, I understand the importance of consumers being given more cost-effective prescription choices.  Some pharmacy contracts with insurance agencies can prevent pharmacists from informing consumers under a health plan about more affordable prescription alternatives, such as generic prescriptions or purchasing the drug outside of their copay. This “gag clause” allows insurance companies to collect a higher copay from consumers than what the pharmacies pay for the prescription and keep the extra money. This law prevents these “gag clauses” and ensures pharmacists are allowed to help Hoosier consumers save on their prescription drugs.

Taking these steps to continue fighting the opioid epidemic and removing barriers to affordable medication will promote the health and safety of Hoosiers.

Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about these new state laws and many others effective July 1. As always, your feedback is important to me and always welcome. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at 317-232-9769 or h73@iga.in.gov.  

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Rep. Steve Davisson represents Washington County, and portions

of Orange, Lawrence, Jackson, Clark and Harrison counties.  

A high-resolution photo of Davisson can be downloaded by clicking here.