STATE HOUSE – Today, at a ceremonial bill signing held at
The Providence Center-Recovery Navigation Program, Governor Gina Raimondo
signed several bills into law that will help combat the state’s opioid
crisis. In attendance at the ceremony were the legislative sponsors of
the five bills and Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott.
/ 2017-S 0812)
signed relates to the classification of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids
within the list of uniform controlled substances, as it includes fentanyl
analogs and synthetic opioids into Schedule I and Schedule II of the list of
uniform controlled substances. The legislation was sponsored by Rep.
Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) and Sen.
Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Dist. 16, Central Falls, Pawtucket).
Islanders at an alarming rate, and we must codify in law how devastating and
deadly these new substances are that are flooding into our borders,” said
and too many people are dying due to fentanyl infecting Rhode Island’s illicit
drug supply. This troubling phenomenon is fairly new, and that is why we
must amend the Uniform Controlled Substances Act to include fentanyl and other
synthetic opioids as the dangerous and deadly substances that they are,” said
/ 2017-S 0805A),
sponsored by Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence) and Senator
Crowley, brings the penalties for possession, manufacturing or selling fentanyl
in line with those for heroin and cocaine. The bill sets a maximum penalty for
amounts between one ounce and one kilogram at up to 50 years in prison and a
fine of up to $500,000. It would make possession of any amount over one
kilogram punishable by as much as a life term and fine of up to $1 million.
doctor or nurse what the greatest danger they see on a daily basis and they
will tell you fentanyl. Far more potent than heroin or any other opiate,
fentanyl is killing our family members, friends, and neighbors at an alarming
rate and something must be done to end this scourge of death. Fentanyl
and the people distributing it are killing Rhode Islanders. Our laws must treat
it like the serious menace that it is. Life in prison is not too much for
someone who is profiting from selling something this lethal. The price its
victims are paying is much steeper,” said Representative Corvese.
0789Aaa / 2017-H
6124Aaa), introduced by Sen. Frank Lombardo III (D-Dist. 25,
Johnston) and Rep. Gregg Amore (D-Dist. 65, East Providence), requires
insurance reimbursement for chiropractic and osteopathic non-opioid treatments
for pain. The legislation states that patients with substance use
disorders shall have access to evidence-based non-opioid treatment for
pain. In turn, insurance coverage will be required for medically necessary
chiropractic care and osteopathic manipulative treatment performed by licensed
imperative that insurance companies cover alternate and effective treatments
for chronic pain, especially in the case of patients with substance use
problems,” said Senator Lombardo.
our state and that has led to a health epidemic. For many patients,
particularly those with substance abuse problems, opioids are the wrong choice
to manage pain. This bill will ensure that other proven treatments for
pain are covered by insurance, hopefully lessening the impact of opioid abuse
in our state,” said Representative Amore.
/ 2017-S 0546aa),
introduced by Rep. Mia Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Senator
Crowley, makes the electronic transmission of pharmaceuticals the standard in
Rhode Island. The legislation also provides for protection of patient
privacy in regard to electronic prescriptions.
“Currently, the law provides physicians with the option of
transmitting prescriptions electronically. This legislation makes it standard.
E-prescribing significantly reduces pharmacy errors and fraudulent
prescriptions,” said Representative Ackerman. “This is important legislation for
improving patient care and safety. We put a three-year timeframe into the bill,
which gives plenty of time for the medical community to convert their systems.”
/ 2017-H 6307)
signed today, sponsored by Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield,
North Providence, Johnston) and Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence),
requires health care professionals to discuss the dangers of opioid addiction
before prescribing the medication.
people a year than motor vehicle crashes,” said Senator Archambault. “More than
52,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2015 — and 63 percent of those
deaths involved an opioid, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
epidemic of opioid addiction,” said Representative Diaz. “Many people become
addicted to opioids that were legitimately prescribed. That, coupled with the
expense, has made this a major health crisis. The total annual costs associated
with prescription opioid abuse was estimated at $55 billion in a study
published in Pain Medicine in 2011.”