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Round 2 of Anti-Opioid Bills Focuses on Pharmacists, Doctors

Proposals would require drugstores to use lockable vials for opioids, install dropboxes for unused meds

INDIANAPOLIS --  A second wave of anti-opioid proposals at the statehouse -- this time focusing on doctors and pharmacies.

Indianapolis Senator Jim Merritt says he'll author a bill to require pharmacies to have dropboxes for people to return leftover medication. A second bill would require them to use lockable bottles for opioid prescriptions.

Indiana works with the Drug Enforcement Administration to conduct drug takeback days twice a year. The state passed a law to make it easier to return drugs year-round, but only a handful of pharmacies have installed the necessary dropboxes. Merritt says federal regulations make it more complicated than just putting up a box with a lock on it.

Merritt says he doesn't want the proposed requirements to be a burden for pharmacies, but says the severity and spread of the opioid crisis makes it essential for drugstores to be part of the solution.

Merritt's also proposing to require doctors to register for the statewide database which tracks opioid prescriptions, and to include overdose information in the database so doctors know who's overdosed amassed extra pills by bouncing from doctor to doctor.

Merritt previously rolled out a string of bills imposing tougher penalties on drug dealers.

The legislative session begins in earnest January 3.

Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)

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