The North Carolina House of Representatives approved a final version of House Bill 243 Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act on Tuesday, passing a comprehensive measure to address the opioid epidemic through smarter prescribing and labeling, better dispensing and stricter requirements for use of the state’s Controlled Substances Reporting System.
H.B. 243 STOP Act is sponsored by Reps. Greg Murphy, MD (R-Pitt), Ted Davis (R-New Hanover), Chris Malone (R-Wake) and Craig Horn (R-Union), and identical legislation was filed in the state Senate by Sens. Jim Davis (R-Macon), Tom McInnis (R-Richmond) and Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick).
Key provisions of the STOP Act include penalties for improper reporting of controlled substances prescriptions, limits on the initial quantity of opioid prescriptions for acute pain and stricter supervision of prescribers.
Rep. Greg Murphy, MD, spoke in favor of the bill’s final version on the House floor:
“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.”
The STOP Act will also require universal registration and reporting by pharmacies to detect misuse and diversion while strengthening reporting requirements of prescription transactions.
Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) also spoke in support of the final version of the bill, which was worked on most of the legislative session:
“It was a real honor and privilege in watching this bill develop,” Davis said. “We came up with a great step to eradicate this very serious epidemic that is facing our state.”
Legislative leaders and stakeholders in the law enforcement and medical community maintain the reforms will produce more reliable prevention data, reduce overdoses and save lives.