Senate Approves Killion Bill to Implement Opioid Prescribing Curriculum in Medical Schools

HARRISBURG – The Senate today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Killion (R-9) that would implement Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum in all of Pennsylvania’s medical schools, as a way to help address the state’s growing opioid addiction crisis.

Senate Bill 1368 calls for a focus in four key areas including pain management; multimodal treatments for chronic pain that minimize the use of opioids, or when opioids are indicated, to prescribe them in a way that is safe and that follows guideline-based care; focusing on patients who have been identified as at-risk for developing problems with prescription opioids; and teaching medical students how to manage substance abuse disorders as a chronic disease.

“We must collectively do more to address the rise in opioid abuse impacting our communities,” Sen. Killion said.  “We need to have people properly trained in the areas of pain management and prescribing practices.  Our response to the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to evolve.  As such, we need to evolve our curricula being taught in our medical schools.  Training in certain areas, such as pain management, is a pivotal first step.”

“Nearly half of all young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin, showing some proof to the research that pain medication may actually open the door to heroin use,” Killion said. “My legislation will ensure that medical professionals are trained in prescribing opioids safe and effectively.”

Senator Killion was selected to serve on the committee to escort the Governor into the House chamber today, Wednesday, September 28, as part of the Governor’s joint address to the Legislature.

“It is truly an honor to be selected to serve on the committee to escort and introduce the governor to the joint legislative session,” Killion said.

CONTACT:

Office of Sen. Killion:            Krista Hair (717) 787-4712