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RELEASE: Bipartisan Legislators Unveil ‘Opioid Reform Act’

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ST. PAUL – On Tuesday, bipartisan lawmakers from the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate joined with Attorney General Lori Swanson, members of the Steve Rummler Hope Foundation, doctors, law enforcement, and those personally affected by opioid addiction to unveil a series of bills – the Opioid Reform Act – to combat opioid abuse. The bills are as follows:

  • HF770 (Baker)/SF563 (Koran) – Direct injectable drug medical assistance reimbursement provisions modified

  • HF1134 (Baker)/SF752 (Eaton) – Prescription drug order filling time limited for opioid drugs

  • HF1135 (Baker)/SF751 (Eaton) – Dispensed prescriptions additional information required

  • HF1137 (Baker)/SF753 (Eaton) – Minnesota prescription monitoring program patient review required

  • HF1440 (Baker)/SF730 (Rosen) – Opiate stewardship program established, report required, and money appropriated

Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, lost his son to an opioid addiction six years ago, and is chief-authoring all five bills of the current Opioid Reform Act.

“I don’t want to see other families go through what my family went through when we lost our son to an opioid addiction,” said Baker. “Many times, these addictions start with a prescription from a doctor and quickly spiral into an unbreakable dependency. These bills that were heard in committee this morning – as well as others we’re working on – are steps to get a handle on the growing problem of opioid abuse and can help prevent opioid-related deaths in our state.”

Like Rep. Baker, Senator Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center, lost a child to opioid addiction. Senator Eaton is chief-authoring numerous opioid-related bills ranging from continuing education for prescribers to strengthening existing laws relating to the life-saving drug, Naloxone.

“We’ve made strides in the past couple years to combat this illness, but there’s still more to do,” said Eaton. “The solutions we’re putting forward could have helped my daughter, or others like her, avoid this unforgiving addiction.”

Senator Julie Rosen, R-Vernon Center, is authoring or co-authoring each of the five Opioid Reform Act bills.

“We are seeing this problem in every corner of the state, and it’s escalating,” said Rosen. “We need to be proactive in eliminating opioid abuse and educating the public about this growing crisis. We are taking strong, appropriate steps at the state level to address this issue head on.”

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