Okla. lawmaker say bill fights prescription abuse
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma lawmaker says a bill he filed would help fight prescription abuse by requiring physicians to check the prescription history of new patients. Rep. Pat Ownbey of Ardmore says his measure calls for doctors to check the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Prescription Monitoring Program when prescribing a controlled dangerous substance to a new patient. Physicians would also be required to do an annual check for all patients. Oklahoma ranks first in the nation in prescription drug usage per capita. Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, says the state has experienced a 108 percent increase in drug overdose deaths since 2001 and 80 percent of those deaths are due to prescription drugs. Ownbey's bill passed the House 66-26 and now goes to the Senate.