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.”
tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB0676" 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.”

Local Girls Recognized By The American Lung Association For Outstanding Achievements

The American Lung Association in Tennessee will be recognizing the work of five local scholars, published authors, and accomplished philanthropists next month. But these women haven't had a lifetime to build their success. They haven't even graduated from high school yet.  The ALA Young Women of Distinction Award is offered each year to high school seniors who set themselves ... (click for more)

Alexander, Murray Introduce Budget Amendment For Medical Treatments To Reach American Patients

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) Thursday introduced a budget amendment to promote the research, development, and approval or licensure of the "most cutting-edge, safe and effective medical treatments, devices, and cures for American patients and to ensure that America remains the global leader in biomedical innovation."  ... (click for more)

Cabela's To Open Fort Oglethorpe Store May 13

Cabela’s announced Monday plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Fort Oglethorpe store on Wednesday, May 13, with a unique ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a weekend-long celebration featuring giveaways, family activities and more.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony, hosted by Cabela's executives and special guests, will begin at 9:45 a.m. and conclude with ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)