New law meant to stop “Doctor Shopping”

A new law would stop Hoosiers from getting prescription opioids by asking different doctors for prescriptions. The new law requires doctors and pharmacists to check Indiana’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before prescribing or dispensing an opioid or benzodiazepine.

The practice is called “doctor shopping”.

“When a person goes to a physician and the physician is going to prescribe them an opiate, then the physician would check the INSPECT System. That’s a system in Indiana that monitors dangerous and addictive drugs,” said state Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn).

The system would tell the prescriber whether the patient has gotten a prescription before.

“So, this doctor then knows, hey, you’ve been to three other places. I can’t prescribe you this drug because you’re getting it somewhere else,” said Smaltz, who sponsored the law, which Gov. Holcomb signed Friday.

INSPECT is a statewide, comprehensive online platform that medical professionals use to review patients’ controlled-substance prescription history, said a news release from the State House.

“By shutting down drug users’ ability to illegally obtain multiple prescriptions, or interdict their supply, we can help stop addiction before it starts or prevent unnecessary overdose deaths,” said Smaltz. “This law is just one more step to help Hoosiers and their families battle this terrible crisis.”

Smaltz said lawmakers this session implemented a three-pronged attack plan of treatment, interdiction and punishment to stem the tide of this growing crisis.

“I supported a new law pairing opioid treatment centers with local hospitals and community mental health centers to provide wrap-around services like medical aid and counseling for Hoosiers beginning the recovery process,”said Smaltz.

“Another new law focuses on punishment by increasing the penalty for drug dealers whose products cause death.”