Senate Sends Opioid Treatment Agreement Bill to Governor for Enactment

Harrisburg – Legislation co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) that would help reduce the risk of patients falling victim to opioid addiction was approved Thursday by the Senate.

Senate Bill 572 would require new patients who need a prescribed opioid regimen to enter into treatment agreements with a prescriber to ensure that they adhere to safe, responsible guidelines for opioid use.

The treatment agreements would require new patients to undergo baseline and periodic drug testing to ensure they stick to the prescribed treatments and are not misusing or diverting prescriptions. The requirements would not apply in medical emergencies, to patients with existing relationships with a medical provider, or patients suffering from cancer or terminal illness.

“So many Pennsylvanians end up trapped in addiction because they didn’t fully understand the risks associated with the powerful drugs they were prescribed,” Mensch said. “These treatment agreements will ensure patients understand the risks of addiction and overdose, and their responsibilities regarding their treatment.”

The bill was part of a bipartisan package of reforms that the Senate approved in June to stem the tide of Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic.

Senate Bill 572 was approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and was sent to the governor to be signed into law.

CONTACT: Mark Fetzko, mfetzko@pasen.gov, 717-787-3110