Addison Sharp Prescription Regulatory Act Gains Committee Approval

Friday, March 29, 2013
State Senator Ken Yager (R-Harriman) won passage of legislation in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee this week designed to curb the abuse of prescription drugs in Tennessee. Senator Yager said the bill is a result of “comprehensive and collaborative effort by citizens, legislators, law enforcement and medical professionals to enhance and tighten the regulations on prescribers and pain management clinics.”" target="_blank">Senate Bill 676 is named the Addison Sharp Prescription Regulatory Act of 2013. Addison Sharp was a resident of Knoxville, whose young life was tragically cut short in 2012 by an overdose of prescription medication. Since this tragedy, his family has been working with legislators, law enforcement and medical professionals to attempt to decrease the number of lives being taken by this growing epidemic.
Senator Yager said, "Prescription drug abuse is at epidemic levels in Tennessee. It not only adversely affects the public health, but the public safety and economy. This legislation provides additional and useful tools to fight this scourge."
Provisions of the bill would:
  • Direct the Commissioner of Health to develop a standard of care on prescribing the most commonly abused prescription medications and provide this information to the various licensing boards who oversee prescribers;
  • Require two hours of training for medical professionals every two years on these guidelines and other pertinent requirements such as medicine addiction and risk management;
  • Limit the dispensing of Schedule II-IV drugs to 30 days. (The prescription may still be issued for 90 days, but this will limit it to a 30-day supply at a time);
  • Require reporting to the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database by all prescribers who dispense at their offices;
  • Clarify the definition of manufacturer and wholesaler of drugs and require the reporting of the drug distribution;
  • Strengthen the definition of pain management clinics by closing a loophole in the law that has allowed some operators to avoid registration;
  • Require a patient of pain management clinics to have a current and valid government-issued identification or health insurance card for monitoring purposes;
  • Limit the medical director at pain management clinics to four clinics total;
  • Limit money order payments as method to reimburse pain management clinics for services to put an end to cash business; and
  • Enhance the fine for violations on unregistered clinics to between $1,000 - $5,000 per day to substantially impact those who choose to operate illegally.
“The current fine is considered just the cost of doing illegal business for unscrupulous pain clinic operators,” said Senator Yager. “This will make the fines higher, while expanding who can be fined and the frequency of fines, to attack the problem of illegal operations in our state which contributes to our prescription drug problem.”

World AIDS Day Events Held Dec. 1 And 6

The Southeast TN Council for HIV/AIDS Care and Prevention, in partnership with the city of Chattanooga and The Hunter Museum of American Art, will host World AIDS Day 2015 events on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 6. These events will highlight the arc of the pandemic, how the southern United States is the epicenter of the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic, the ... (click for more)

Free Metabolic Seminars Hosted By CHI Memorial Metabolic And Bariatric Care

Jack F. Rutledge, M.D. and CHI Memorial Metabolic and Bariatric Care will host two free seminars in December on surgical weight loss options. The first seminar will be held at CHI Memorial Hospital in the community room Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. The second seminar will be at the North River Civic Center in Hixson on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. "Obesity can be devastating to ... (click for more)

Residents Concerned Over 7-Story Building On The Southside

Downtown Chattanooga residents expressed their concerns with the proposed seven-story apartment building on Cowart Street on the Southside at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting. The apartment building, originally zoned at four stories before Belle Investment petitioned for seven, has not been adequately publicized, residents claimed.   Architect and planning professional ... (click for more)

Commissioner Graham Chides Chairman Bankston For Shredding Arts Cigarette Tax Letter; Says Sunshine Law Violated

County Commissioner Joe Graham on Wednesday chided Chairman Chester Bankston for shredding a letter related to the proposed cigarette tax to aid the arts. "Have you shredded any other county legal documents?" he demanded. Chairman Bankston replied, "No, I have not done that." He said the letter did not get the necessary six signatures to forward to the Legislature. ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Why I Am Thankful, 2015

I can’t really remember when I first started this – sometime in the 1970s – but my favorite column every year comes during Thanksgiving when I literally pause and use my fingers to thank God for all His richest blessings. The year 2015 has been bountiful so here are just a few of the things I will carry in my heart as I take my place at today’s table: I AM THANKFUL that tomorrow, ... (click for more)