Bill would prohibit exchanging tamper-resistant opioids

Ralph B. DavisManaging Editor

December 18, 2012

FRANKFORT – Rep. Addia K. Wuchner, R-Florence (66th District) announced last week she is filing legislation for the 2013 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly that would prohibit the unauthorized substitution of an FDA-approved opioid product that incorporates tamper resistant technologies for one that is not.

“We have fought the scourge of prescription drug abuse across the Commonwealth for many years,” said Representative Wuchner. “It is essential we take all steps necessary to reduce the number of Kentuckians who either abuse prescription drugs or profit from that abuse, and it is my belief this legislation is one way we can combat this problem.”

BR 11, which is called The STOPP (Stop Tampering of Prescription Pills in Kentucky) in Kentucky Act 2013, is another tool in the tool box to combat prescription narcotic drug abuse that is taking a toll on Kentucky families, Wuchner said.

“This legislation would prohibit the unauthorized substitution of an FDA-approved opioid product that incorporates tamper-resistant technologies for one that does not,” added Rep. Wuchner. “Tamper resistant formulations, or TRF’s, make it much more difficult to crush, melt, or otherwise alter medication into a form that is easier to abuse.”

“Studies show that addicts tend to crush or otherwise break down time-released products into a form that can be snorted or injected for a more intense high,” said Rep. Wuchner. “Products incorporating TRF technologies offer physicians the opportunity to prescribe products that can reduce the potential for misuse and abuse of opioids. It places no mandate on doctors and is completely voluntary.”

Representative Wuchner announced the pre-filing for BR 11 during testimony to the 2012 Special Session House Bill 1 Implementation and Oversight Committee this afternoon in Frankfort. It is the second consecutive session that Representative Wuchner has filed legislation. House Bill 377 was filed for the 2012 Legislative Session, which unanimously passed the House Health and Welfare Committee but was not called to the House floor for a vote.

“Most important, this legislation is about saving lives,” added Rep. Wuchner. “Too many lives lost, too many futures destroyed and too many children suffer from the destructive effect on their young lives.”