Kansas throws out prescription pad for opioids

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Gov. Laura Kelly put pen to paper Friday morning, and that means soon your doctor won't be able to - at least when it comes to your opioid prescriptions.

House Bill 2119, signed Friday, requires opioid prescriptions to go straight from your doctor to the pharmacy electronically.

"Any drug you have a prescription for that has opioids in it would then be required to be filed electronically, as opposed to like a paper prescription or a phone call." Aaron Dunkle, executive director of the Kansas Pharmacists Association, said.

"Clearly, that's a whole lot safer to have it done that way than to have a hand-written prescription out on the street and available to be shared where they shouldn't be,” Gov. Laura Kelly said.

The bill also allows pharmacists to administer certain drugs by injection, like anti-psychotics.

"Patients would come and receive this medication from us, and we would have no idea what they would do with it. Are they taking it back to their doctor's office? Do they have somebody at home? Are they trying to do it themselves?” David Price, a pharmacist who attended Friday’s signing, said. “So with this bill, now, as a pharmacist, I feel a whole lot better about being able to take care of my patients."

Supporters say it's a step in the right direction, but it’s just one piece of a much larger puzzle.

"It's really got to be one piece of reducing drug abuse in general, treatment availability, prevention efforts,” Dr. Eric Voth, who is on the Governor's Task Force on Drug Abuse, said. “We also have to teach our providers how to prescribe opiates safely."

The electronic prescription requirement will go into effect July 1, 2020.