Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act Cracks Down on Fraud
The Arizona State legislature recently enacted The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. The passage of the Act was truly a bipartisan effort, with both political parties involved in the bill development. Ultimately the Opioid Epidemic Act passed unanimously through the Arizona House and Senate. It was then signed by Governor Doug Ducey and became the first bill to become law in 2018.
The Opioid Epidemic Act is a comprehensive package “aimed at combating the opioid epidemic and saving lives.” The approach is to address the opioid epidemic from numerous angles, including expanding treatment, improving enforcement and oversight, reversing overdoses, and preventing addiction.
In his 2018 State of the State Address, Governor Ducey said of the Act: “Our package will attack this issue from all angles, while protecting individuals who suffer from chronic pain, and maintaining compassion for those struggling with addiction.”
The policy initiatives were born of collaboration between medical professionals, law enforcement, community leaders, pharmacists, substance abuse treatment experts, elected officials from both parties, and chronic pain sufferers.
Comprehensive solutions are outlined in the Act. Specific policy initiatives in the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act include:
- Increasing oversight mechanisms and enacting criminal penalties for manufacturers who defraud the public about their products, with a focus on ending so-called “pill mills.”
- Cracking down on forged prescriptions by requiring e-prescribing.
- Requiring all pharmacists to check the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program prior to dispensing an opioid.
- Identifying gaps in and improving access to treatment, including for uninsured or underinsured Arizonans, with a new $10 million investment.
- Limiting the first-fill of an opioid prescription to five days for patients new to an opioid drug and limiting dosage levels to align with federal prescribing guidelines. These limits contain exemptions to protect chronic pain suffers, cancer, trauma patients, hospice patients, and those receiving medication assisted treatment for substance use disorder.
- Enhancing continuing medical education for all professions that prescribe or dispense opioids.
- Enacting a Good Samaritan law to allow people to call 911 for a potential opioid overdose.
The above are only a few of the many policy initiatives included in the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act.
Our firm believes that law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are aggressively pursuing credentialed physicians and pharmacists who prescribe and dispense opioids, and patients with legitimate medical needs. In the State’s zeal to combat the opioid epidemic innocent patients, doctors, clinics, and pharmacists may be unfairly targeted.
If you have been charged with a crime related to opioid prescribing, dispensing, or use, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to craft a solid legal strategy, including all defenses available to you. When you hire us to defend you we will strive to get the charges against you dropped or reduced to lesser charges, and work to get mitigation of any sentencing.
The white collar criminal defense attorneys of Ashley D. Adams, PLC are prepared to defend your rights and combat aggressive prosecutors.
Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.