Nygren HOPE Agenda Moves Forward

The Assembly Committee on Health unanimously approved all four of Representative John Nygren’s (R-Marinette) HOPE Agenda bills during an executive session last week. Additionally, the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services unanimously approved Senate Bills 268, 271, and 272. The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety also passed the bill on law enforcement PDMP reporting unanimously.

Rep. Nygren announced the bill package, if passed, would provide additional heroin, opiate prevention and education to combat the heroin and opiate epidemic in Wisconsin. The bills are a continuation of Rep. Nygren’s plan to combat the heroin epidemic.

The four bills would do the following:

  • Law Enforcement PDMP Reporting AB 365/SB 269: Law Enforcement PDMP Reporting: This bill requires additional reporting by law enforcement when prescription drugs or opiates are suspected in a drug overdose or death, or in a case of stolen prescription drugs. Law enforcement would be required to report the following information to the Prescription Drug Monitor Program (PDMP): the name and birth date of the individuals involved; person who the prescription was stolen from; the prescribing practitioner; the prescription number; and the name of the drug. The information the PDMP collects would be allowed to disclose the information to relevant practitioners and pharmacists.
  • Physician PDMP Reporting AB 364/SB 268: This bill strengthens reporting and reviewing requirements, by requiring a pharmacy or practitioner to report when monitored prescription drugs are dispensed within 24 hours of the time when the drug was dispensed, and requires practitioners to review a patient’s record when dispensing a monitored prescription drug. It also law enforcement and DAs access to these records when working on an investigation.
  • Methadone Reporting AB 367/SB 271: This bill requires treatment programs that use methadone to treat substance abuse must report data to the Department of Health Services annually.
  • Pain Clinic Certification AB 366/SB 272: This bill requires pain clinics to be certified through a DHS application process, in order to operate. The clinic will be required to have a medical director who is a physician who practices in Wisconsin. The clinic would also be required to have someone authorized to prescribe pain medication to review for treatment purposes an individual’s records on the prescription drug monitoring database for use of other pain medications.

This bill package is the second portion of a legislative initiative by Rep. Nygren to tackle the heroin epidemic in Wisconsin. Rep. Nygren started this initiative last year when he introduced seven anti-heroin bills addressing emergency responders, physicians, pharmacies, and other prescription drug requirements. Governor Walker signed all of the bills into law last spring.