(Mar. 15) – A bill, sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, to require doctors to prescribe certain drugs electronically received bipartisan support from the House today and now goes to Gov. Polis for his signature.

“We need to do whatever we can do address the opioid crisis harming individuals and families across Southern Colorado,” said Rep. Esgar. “By streamlining responsible prescribing practices, we can help, even if it’s a little bit, to lower the chance of someone falling into the cycle of addiction.”

SB19-079 requires that certain professions with the ability to prescribe Schedule II, III, IV drugs be prescribed electronically, with some exceptions.. The bill gives rulemaking authority to the respective oversight boards for the professions to establish the process for exceptions.  It also says that a pharmacist does not need to verify an exception when filling a prescription for a schedule II, III, or IV drug.

Democrats in the legislature are committed to addressing the opioid crisis. With the widespread ability to purchase fake paper prescription pads online, this bill will cut down on fraudulent prescriptions getting filled by connecting the pharmacist directly with the prescriber.

SB19-079 passed with a bipartisan vote on 60-4. It passed unanimously in the Senate. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

Earlier today, the House Appropriations committee also gave bipartisan approval to HB19-1174, a bipartisan bill to end surprise billing, sponsored by Rep. Daneya Esgar, D-Pueblo, and Rep. Marc Catlin, R-Montrose. Out-of-network bills can be more than 30 times the average in-network rate. The bill was approved on a vote of 10-1 and now heads to the House floor.

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