The Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2019 (HR 4810, 116th Congress) would mitigate attempts to refill fraudulent or forged controlled substance prescriptions by encouraging pharmacists to monitor and confirm the identity of individuals picking up prescriptions for such medications.
Specifically, the bill would amend the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (Public Law 115-271) by directing the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other relevant federal agencies to develop, disseminate, and periodically update training materials for pharmacists on verifying the identity of individuals picking up a prescription for a controlled substance.
Additionally, the Opioid Prescription Verification Act seeks to create financial incentives for states to promote prescription drug monitoring practices. Specifically, the bill would amend the Public Health Service Act (Public Law 78-410) to allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to preferentially issue grants for opioid overdose prevention and overdose data collection to states that have taken steps to verify the validity of prescription refill requests for controlled substances. For instance, the CDC may give priority consideration to states that:
- have established a state-wide prescription drug monitoring database;
- require pharmacists to confirm the identity of individuals retrieving prescriptions for schedule II, III, or IV controlled substances via state-approved photo identification; and
- require pharmacists to record the type and quantity of the drug dispensed, the name of the drug beneficiary, and the name of the individual retrieving the prescription in the state’s prescription drug monitoring database.
In a statement on the House floor, bill sponsor Representative Rodney Davis (R-Ill-13) expressed that the Opioid Prescription Verification Act of 2019 is mainly intended to curb "pharmacy shopping", whereby an individual might illegally pick up or refill an opioid prescription intended for a different person.