Senate Approves Opioid “Trailer Bill” / by Joe Furia

Debbie Johnston, Senior Vice President of Policy Development 

This week, the Senate unanimously approved H.B. 2549, which revises S.B. 1001, controlled substances; regulation; appropriation, passed earlier this year in special session. The bill clarifies the 90 MME per day opioid dosage limit:

  • applies to prescriptions filled or dispensed outside of a healthcare institution
  • excludes prescriptions issued after a surgical procedure if the prescription is limited to a 14 day supply

Under the new revisions, prescribers will be able to exceed the dosage limits if they consult with a designated “opioid call service” (e.g., Poison Control), and the call service agrees with the higher dosage. The bill also extends the opioid dispensing prohibition to naturopathic physicians but provides an exception to the prohibition for certain prescribers for implantable devices. The bill now moves to the House for final approval.

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) finalized the opioid treatment and prescribing rule last month and is now in effect. Thus AHDS will ease in enforcement and anticipates providing educational sessions the first week in May. AzHHA will keep members apprised as dates are finalized.