NC General Assembly approves bill to reduce opioid abuse

- The North Carolina House of Representatives has approved House Bill 243, a measure designed to crack down on the misuse of opioids.

The Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act passed the house on Tuesday.

The bill addresses the current opioid epidemic by encouraging smarter prescribing, labeling and dispensing practices, and stricter requirements for the state’s Controlled Substance Reporting System, according to speaker Tim Moore.

Key provisions of the act include penalties for improper reporting of prescriptions, limits on the initial quantity of opioid prescriptions and stricter supervision of prescribers. The act will require universal registration and reporting by pharmacies.

The bill was sponsored by Republican representatives Greg Murphy (Pittman Co.), Ted Davis (New Hanover Co.), Chris Malone (Wake Co.) and Craig Horn (Union Co.). Republican state senators Jim Davis (Macon Co.), Tom McInnis (Richmond Co.) and Bill Rabon (Brunswick Co.) submitted the same legislation to the state senate.

"I believe this bill represents what is best about our form of government,” Murphy said.  “We've had bipartisan support, and stakeholders from many constituencies came together to express support and concerns.  We've listened and this bill is an important step forward in combating our opioid crisis." 

Legislative leaders, law enforcement and members of the medical community believe the act will reduce overdoses and save lives. 

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