Oklahoma has a major problem with prescription drug abuse. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that our state has the highest rate of nonmedical use for painkillers. Such findings give credence to efforts like those by state Rep. Pat Ownbey, R-Ardmore, who wants to require physicians to check the prescription history of new patients. Ownbey’s House Bill 2574, approved this week by the House, would make doctors check the state narcotics bureau’s online prescription monitoring program before prescribing a controlled dangerous substance to a new patient. Doctors also would have to do a similar check each year on all their patients. Two legislators who are physicians took opposite stances on the bill. One said it would be a burden, the other supported the plan. If it puts a dent in the doctor shopping that is so common in Oklahoma now, it will be worthwhile.
Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman