The North Carolina House of Representatives unanimously approved a final version of House Bill 243 — the “Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act” earlier this afternoon, 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.
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, the bill’s primary sponsor, 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,” said Representative Murphy. “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.