The Medical Licensing Board (MLB) of Indiana met to approve new rules governing controlled substance prescribing in the state. Physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice nurses who prescribe scheduled drugs need to immediately become acquainted with these new rules, effective Dec. 15. Please share this news with colleagues.
The state legislature passed SB 246 at its last session, setting a Nov. 1 deadline for creation of emergency standards and procedures for prescribing opioids, as well as investigation procedures. These new rules are now on the state’s Professional Licensing Agency website.
ISMA Director of Government Relations Mike Rinebold said, “These rules are the culmination of work started in January with passage of the bill by the General Assembly and action by the ISMA’s Task Force on Controlled Substance Prescribing. We began meeting jointly in May with the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, created by the attorney general.”
|ISMA president Deepak Azad, M.D., provides opening remarks for the fourth annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium, Nov. 1 in Indianapolis, co-sponsored by the ISMA and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.
Dr. Azad said, “Clearly, we physicians must do a better job of prescribing appropriately and educating the public about safe use of pain medication. That’s why we’re here.”
More than 50 physicians from around Indiana contributed to development of the rules. Since June, the MLB has held public hearings monthly and incorporated many suggestions, including those from the ISMA, into the rules.
“I greatly appreciate the work of the task force and the ISMA,” said Stephen Huddleston, J.D., MLB president. Next year, the MLB is charged with revisiting the emergency rules through a more formal process. Until then, the emergency rules are in effect.
Allowing medical record inspection
A provision of SB 246 instructed the MLB to adopt rules allowing the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (IOAG) to inspect medical records, when deemed appropriate, under an inspection order issued by the MLB.
An inspection order will be used when the attorney general receives a complaint, investigates and believes immediate access to records is warranted. The IOAG can then petition the MLB for the right to inspect records. This measure is intended to help prevent “pill mills” from operating in Indiana. It is now in effect.
Physician reaction and response
“We need to bring this news to all doctors in the state,” said Tim King, M.D., ISMA member and pain management specialist. Concerned about controlled substance abuse, Dr. King added, “This action is a testament to the common sense and energy of physicians in the state to bring this situation under control.”
The ISMA supported the rules at convention in September. No opposition was heard to Resolution 13-17 Emergency Legislation for Responsible Opioid Prescription Writing and Resolution 13-24 Best Practices for Responsible Prescribing of Controlled Substances. Find the resolutions on the ISMA website. (Requires logging in to the Members Section).
Resolution 13-24 supports a physician toolkit developed by the education subcommittee of the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, chaired by ISMA member Deborah McMahan, M.D. Find the toolkit on the bitterpill website and see the article here.
Members of the task force will address your organization about these changes. ISMA legal and legislative staffs are available as well. To schedule a speaker, contact the ISMA’s Rinebold at (317) 261-2060 or (800) 257-4762. Or email him.
Find an ISMA summary of the new rules here and additional prescribing resources here and at the bitterpill website. The ISMA has recorded a webinar that will be available soon here.