Legislation proposes requiring dentists who possess scheduled drugs to obtain TDDD license

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Mid-Biennium Review proposes several new strategies to fight opiate abuse, including requiring dentists to be licensed with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to be able to purchase and distribute controlled substances.

Several bills regarding Kasich’s Mid-Biennium Budget Review have been introduced by state lawmakers, including Senate Bill 319, which addresses issues related to opiate abuse.

The strategies Kasich has outlined in SB 319 aim to tackle opiate addiction by strengthening prescription drug oversight, encouraging responsible treatment and preventing overdoses.

Ohio law currently allows dentists to distribute controlled substances to patients without oversight from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. According to a fact sheet created by the governor’s office on the Mid-Biennium Budget Review, exempted prescribers purchased more than 6.5 million doses of controlled substances, including more than 3 million doses of opiates, in 2015.

The legislation would require all health care providers, including dentists, who have any scheduled drug in their office (even those drugs to be administered for patient care) to possess a Terminal Distributor of Dangerous Drugs license from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy. The proposed licensure requirement aims to provide greater oversight of providers who store, administer and dispense dangerous drugs from their offices by providing safeguards to prevent theft or misuse.

Fighting opiate addiction and drug overdoses with a strong focus on preventing prescription drug abuse has been a high priority for Kasich since he took office.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, “Ohio’s opioid prescribing guidelines are having a positive impact in the fight against prescription drug abuse:

  • The number of prescriber and pharmacist queries using OARRS increased from 778,000 in 2010 to 9.3 million in 2014.
  • The number of individuals “doctor shopping” for controlled medications decreased from more than 3,100 in 2009 to approximately 960 in 2014.
  • The number of opioid doses dispensed to Ohio patients decreased by almost 42 million from 2012 to 2014.
  • The number of patients prescribed opioid doses higher than chronic pain guidelines recommend to ensure patient safety decreased by 11 percent from the last quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2015.
  • Ohio patients receiving prescriptions for opioids and benzodiazepine sedatives at the same time dropped 8 percent from the last quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2015.”

According to the press release, prescription opioids remain a significant factor to unintentional drug overdose deaths in Ohio, contributing to nearly half of all injury-related deaths in 2014.

Watch the “ODA Today” and “NewsBytes” for updates on this legislation.