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Nesbit’s E-Prescribing Bill for Opioids Heads to Senate
Measure to help combat opioid crisis approved by House
HARRISBURG – Legislation designed to address the ongoing opioid abuse crisis by preventing paper prescriptions for the powerful medications from falling into the wrong hands has been approved by the state House, said Rep. Tedd Nesbit (R-Mercer/Butler), author of the measure.

“Under current state law, opioids must be prescribed by hand, which lends itself to fraudulent use and theft,” said Nesbit. “That alone contributes to the devastating opioid abuse crisis which led to more than 5,000 deaths in 2016 and has hurt families and communities throughout Pennsylvania.”

Nesbit’s House Bill 353 would require opioids to be prescribed electronically, allowing doctors to send their orders directly to the patient’s pharmacy and preventing handwritten prescriptions from being used fraudulently or stolen.

Nesbit emphasized this would not have any adverse impact upon prescriptions for legitimate purposes and may even provide greater convenience for patients, who would not have to pick up a prescription, deliver it to the pharmacy and wait for it to be filled. It can be prescribed and transmitted like all other prescriptions.

To access Nesbit’s video comments, which are in broadcast quality, download the MP4 file at this link. Once the file has completed the download (which depends on internet connection), the file will be able to be viewed or edited. 

“This commonsense measure would allow legitimate prescriptions to be transferred much more securely and efficiently, thereby helping keep opioids out of the wrong hands,” Nesbit said. “This change in practice is simple, effective and reasonable, and supported by those who would be most impacted.”

House Bill 353 would dramatically update a state law from the 1990s that required opioids prescriptions to be written out by hand – then the most secure means.

Another benefit of e-prescribing is that the tracking of the prescription can go directly to the prescription drug monitoring database, implemented last year, to ensure that only those who have a legitimate medical need for these prescriptions can access them.

“Any efforts we can take to keep opioids and prescriptions for them from reaching those who abuse them is a step in the right direction and will save lives,” Nesbit added.

The measure now moves to the state Senate for its review.

Representative Tedd Nesbit
8th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
(717) 705-2094 /

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